How Civil Society Sees The Vpa Process

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How Civil Society Sees The Vpa Process

  1. 1. How does civil society see the VPA process? Iola Leal FLEGT Training course for EC delegations Brussels, 16-18 November 2009 The campaigning NGO for greater environmental and social justice, with a focus on forests and forest peoples rights in the policies and practices of the EU
  2. 2. Bad forest governance is the result of a variety of complex issues. Any process aiming to successfully reform governance must address these complexities. ‘ The process’ is THE KEY to success
  3. 3. <ul><li>What are we NOT REALLY interested in? </li></ul><ul><li>F LE GT - Law enforcement </li></ul><ul><li>Laws more often than not: </li></ul><ul><li>Fail to recognise the rights of local communities </li></ul><ul><li>Benefit industrial logging </li></ul><ul><li>Do little to promote rural development </li></ul><ul><li>Are overlapping and/or contradictory </li></ul><ul><li>Regulate industrial operations but miss the codes regulating environmental issues and social benefits </li></ul><ul><li>And a long etcetera. </li></ul><ul><li>  We don’t want to enforce laws that are socially unjust and environmentally unsound </li></ul>FLEG T – Trade A carrot, but not an aim!   For civil society FLEGT is about LE T   F G
  4. 4. <ul><li>S ome governance challenges... </li></ul><ul><li>Improving the regulatory framework (so that policies are not unclear or unjust government) </li></ul><ul><li>Clarifying land ownership and access rights for local communities </li></ul><ul><li>Ensuring the effective participation of civil society in policy-making and implementation </li></ul><ul><li>Strengthening the enforcement capacity </li></ul><ul><li>Fighting corruption and organised crime </li></ul>
  5. 5. Illegal logging is not a cause, but a symptom of other problems. To address illegal logging, the real causes need to be addressed
  6. 6. The process is as important as the outcome [and arguably more]
  7. 7. <ul><li>Governance problems ought to be raised (It has to address FLEGT objectives!) </li></ul><ul><li>The final outcome needs to be accepted by all stakeholders </li></ul><ul><li>(legitimacy and workability) </li></ul>How do we measure a good FLEGT process?
  8. 8. <ul><li>All stakeholders must be included and effort should be made to ensure that the voices of the weakest stakeholders are being heard. </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>NGOs are just as much stakeholders as timber industry and their effective involvement during the negotiations and the implementation of the VPA is essential . </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Role of delegations: </li></ul><ul><li>Ensure that there is political space for civil society to bring up their issues (if needed: create that space!) </li></ul>What makes a good process?
  9. 9. <ul><li>All stakeholders must be included </li></ul><ul><li>Trust building is essential... And it takes time! </li></ul><ul><li>As people build trust in each other, several false starts and turn arounds are expected both between and within different stakeholder groups. </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Role of delegations: </li></ul><ul><li>Know the interests of the different actors well </li></ul><ul><li>Ensure that ‘ legitimate’ (national) actors are represented </li></ul><ul><li>NOTE - Wise political navigation is recommended! </li></ul>What makes a good process?
  10. 10. <ul><li>All stakeholders must be included </li></ul><ul><li>Trust building is essential... And it takes time! </li></ul><ul><li>To be meaningfully involved in discussions stakeholders must be prepared. </li></ul><ul><li>The pace of negotiations needs to reflect this need. </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Role of delegations (and all of us): </li></ul><ul><li>Allow for time needed by stakeholders to prepare </li></ul><ul><li>Ensure that there is close coordination between the different actors and initiatives </li></ul><ul><li>Support strategies and thinking to build that capacity </li></ul>What makes a good process? Again: Time!
  11. 11. <ul><li>All stakeholders must be included </li></ul><ul><li>Trust building is essential... And it takes time! </li></ul><ul><li>To be meaningfully involved in discussions stakeholders must be prepared </li></ul><ul><li>Forestry sector reform (and of its laws) is required </li></ul><ul><li>A VPA process that will not address the failures of existing forest governance systems will fail </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Role of delegations: </li></ul><ul><li>(Whenever relevant) support stakeholders to challenge established systems </li></ul>What makes a good process?
  12. 12. <ul><li>Some tips on what works and what doesn’t </li></ul><ul><li>Negotiations must include social and environmental NGOs chosen via self selection process </li></ul><ul><li>Land rights issues are the most sensitive but also the most key </li></ul><ul><li>Negotiations led by the timber trade do not work </li></ul><ul><li>Independent facilitators need to be accepted by all stakeholders </li></ul><ul><li>Strategies for building the capacity of one stakeholder group must be developed together with the stakeholders concerned </li></ul><ul><li>Not engaging stakeholders in defining the modalities of their involvement in the process tends to lead to misunderstandings, frustrations and conflict </li></ul><ul><li>Not following the above ends up delaying the pace of negotiations and implementation </li></ul>
  13. 13. <ul><li>26 Rue d’Edimbourg • Brussels </li></ul><ul><ul><li>B-1050 • Belgium </li></ul></ul>The campaigning NGO for greater environmental and social justice, with a focus on forests and forest peoples rights in the policies and practices of the EU www.fern.org m + 32 (0)496 20 55 00 e [email_address] Thank you

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