Ghana's VPA process:

Some tactical lessons for multi-level,
 multi-stakeholder engagement for
  national rights and gover...
Ghana’s forest sector

• 150 years of repressive elite expropriation of
  communal resources for corporation:
  •   resour...
VPA process

• VPA de jure
  •   timber trade agreement
  •   state-state bilateral
  •   focus on illegal logging
  •   c...
Achievements: Process
•   Most substantial CS participation in (Ghana) history

•   Representation
     • Steering Committ...
Achievement: substantive
• Formal of governance objectives -
  statement

• 3 – year participatory process towards
  polic...
Achievement: Political

• Substantial CS mobilisation around forest
  & community rights agenda

• Greater public awarenes...
Ghana Context

• EU buyers & EU have disproportionate
  leverage over GOG/GTI

• Network’s of CSOs in Europe, Asia and
  A...
Lessons

• levers for intervention & even “soft”
  quot;conditionalitiesquot; often exist – not “black or
  white”
  • Mal...
Lessons

• political will can be strengthened by organised &
  strategically focused CSOs engaging with clear
  objectives...
Lessons

• involves using formal legal arguments
• Constant expansion of participation is crucial –
  tactics must complim...
THANK YOU
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The value of multi-stakeholder consultation at the national level

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Kyeretwie Opoku, Coordinator, Civic Response, Ghana

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The value of multi-stakeholder consultation at the national level

  1. 1. Ghana's VPA process: Some tactical lessons for multi-level, multi-stakeholder engagement for national rights and governance reform
  2. 2. Ghana’s forest sector • 150 years of repressive elite expropriation of communal resources for corporation: • resource devastation; • deepening rural poverty & alienation • massive accumulation of private wealth • growing corruption & weakening state legitimacy • growing internecine conflict • brilliant rhetoric and formally decent institutions • Complacent “international community” 2
  3. 3. VPA process • VPA de jure • timber trade agreement • state-state bilateral • focus on illegal logging • certification arrangement • VPA de facto • Vehicle of pro-community forces in state and civil society in both jurisdictions in engaging the “wall of capital” 3
  4. 4. Achievements: Process • Most substantial CS participation in (Ghana) history • Representation • Steering Committee 0 > ±1 > 1 > 2 > 2.5 = 200% • Negotiating Committee = 0 > 2 • Working Groups – 4/4 (including 2 chairs) • Policy subcommittee 1 / 8 • Direct SC engagement with NGOs (FWG & non-FWG), GAWU & TWU, RAOs, Traditional Leaders, District & Regional Forest Forums • Improved informal channels • GOG commitment to institutionalise & expand 4
  5. 5. Achievement: substantive • Formal of governance objectives - statement • 3 – year participatory process towards policy, regulatory and institutional reform supporting Governance Objectives • Now benchmarks for NREG multi-donor support – threatened by FCPF
  6. 6. Achievement: Political • Substantial CS mobilisation around forest & community rights agenda • Greater public awareness of forest crisis and its importance • Collapse of State-Industry consensus 6
  7. 7. Ghana Context • EU buyers & EU have disproportionate leverage over GOG/GTI • Network’s of CSOs in Europe, Asia and Africa worked in tandem • CSOs cultivated important allies amongst GOG & EU negotiators 7
  8. 8. Lessons • levers for intervention & even “soft” quot;conditionalitiesquot; often exist – not “black or white” • Malaysia process stuck on participation and rights • Ghana process will lead to “best practice” statement that applies to others • Issue is political will. 8
  9. 9. Lessons • political will can be strengthened by organised & strategically focused CSOs engaging with clear objectives – e.g. EU – Ghana NGO engagement • gave cover to EU officials • gave cover to Ghanaian officials
  10. 10. Lessons • involves using formal legal arguments • Constant expansion of participation is crucial – tactics must compliment not substitute for peoples’ struggle 10
  11. 11. THANK YOU

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