The FLEGT Independent Market Monitor (IMM) has published the first edition of its quarterly newsletter, featuring updates on the IMM project, market and policy news, and interviews with key FLEGT actors.
The IMM is a multi-year programme funded by the European Union (EU) and managed by the International Tropical Timber Organisation (ITTO). Its role is to use trade flow analysis and market research to independently assess trade and market impacts of FLEGT Voluntary Partnership Agreements (VPAs).
The newsletter — IMM News — provides a summary of the IMM’s research to understand market perceptions of VPAs and of VPA countries’ timber sectors across key EU Member States. It reports a strong positive response by EU-based operators to the arrival of FLEGT-licensed timber from Indonesia and highlights areas in which operators seek more information about Indonesia’s licensing system.
It also includes an in-depth report on the IMM survey in Indonesia, an analysis of trade flows since the start of FLEGT licensing, an overview of Indonesia’s timber legality assurance system, and a summary of teething problems encountered with FLEGT licensing.
Another 14 countries are negotiating or implementing VPAs with the EU, and the newsletter gives a brief overview of progress in each of these.
It provides greater detail on VPA implementation in Ghana, which has progressed farthest on the path to FLEGT-licensing among the five African countries implementing VPAs. It reports in some detail on trade patterns between Ghana and the EU, and provides an overview of the VPA systems Ghana is implementing, and reveals that stakeholders in Ghana are overwhelmingly positive about the impacts of FLEGT on forest management and governance there.
The newsletter includes interviews with Dr Rufi’ie (Director of Forest Products Processing and Marketing with the Indonesian Ministry of Environment and Forestry), Mike Worrell, (Head of Sustainability at the UK Timber Trade Federation) and Edwin Shanks (VPA Joint Implementation Coordinator for Vietnam).
It concludes with an article by the EU FLEGT Facility that looks beyond legality to consider the social, environmental and economic benefits of FLEGT-licensed timber.