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The text assesses the existence and availability of the information listed in VPA about legal frameworks and procedures or forest activities:
-It finds that there are difficulties in the interpretation of complex information and dissemination depends on the authority’s discretion.
-EU will support the implementation of VPA by and activating civil society to demand and use data. In Ghana, the EU will work to establish a formal agreement on which documents should be routinely published.
-Ghana: no binding obligation to publish data routinely. Legal documents are available, but mostly after written request.
-Cameroon: commits the parties to publish information on specific items. There is missing implementing regulation and key information on logging permits. Almost no data on production, plans, exports, social agreements, etc
-Liberia: Legal documents available, but missing information on private use permits, production, and law enforcement.

Flegt literature non eu library

  1. 1. 1 Literature Review on EU Timber Regulation, FLEGT and VPAs. Non EU Library Documents  VPA Transparency Gap Assessment for Ghana, Cameroon and Liberia, 2012 Kwame Kusi-Wiredu Asumadu Rural Environmental Care Association (RECA-GHANA) The text assesses the existence and availability of the information listed in VPA about legal frameworks and procedures or forest activities: -It finds that there are difficulties in the interpretation of complex information and dissemination depends on the authority’s discretion. -EU will support the implementation of VPA by and activating civil society to demand and use data. In Ghana, the EU will work to establish a formal agreement on which documents should be routinely published. -Ghana: no binding obligation to publish data routinely. Legal documents are available, but mostly after written request. -Cameroon:commits the parties to publish information on specific items. There is missing implementing regulation and key information on logging permits. Almost no data on production, plans, exports, social agreements,etc -Liberia: Legal documents available, but missing information on private use permits, production, and law enforcement.  What is the FLEGT Regulation and howwill it work? Information on the Forest LawEnforcement Governance and Trade (FLEGT) Regulation for anyone involved in importing timber or timber products from VPA countries into the UK or other EU countries, (March 2012). FSC Forest Stewardship Council CPET, defra- departmentfor Environment Food and Rural Affairs
  2. 2. 2 The FLEGT is an EU led initiative that controls the entry of legally licensed timber into the EU from countries that agreed to a Voluntary Partnership Agreement. A VPA is a trade agreement between timber producer countries and the EU. Its main goal is to and increase good forest governance and control illegal logging in order to prevent deforestation, improve transparency and secure market shares. Each VPA country incorporates national legislation on what constitutes legal timber and verifies compliance with it. The VPA’s timber exports that agree with this legislation receive a license. Only licensed timber from the partner country will be accepted in the EU. Currently, Ghana, Cameroon, Liberia, Central African Republic, Republic of Congo and Indonesia are implementing license systems but none of them fully implements all the requirements of the agreement. Negotiations to join the VPA are undergoing with Democratic republic of Congo, Gabon, Malaysia and Vietnam. Only a limited number of solid wood products will be subjected to the license scheme,but other categories of products such as woodchips and furniture might be included if it is beneficial for the Partner Country. How will the FLEGT regulation work? The legislation will not be effective until the first shipment of licensed timber arrives from a Partner Country.Firstly, importers need to present their FLEGT license, issued by either the exporting country or the country into which the products enter the EU. At the port of entrance,custom officers will check the validity of the license or if it has been presented. If it is not valid, the consignement will be retained and penalties may apply. Relationship with the EU Timber Regulation: The EU timber regulation will make illegal in March 2013 to place timber products from illegal logging in the EU market. A FLEGT license will be considered to have been legally harvested.  EU Timber Regulation-VPA Q&A, (August 2012) ClientEarth, European Union The text answers common questions regarding the EU TR: 1. The regulation will only affect any product first placed inthe EU market from 3 March, even if it was harvested before. 2. The regulation applies to a defined list of timber and timber products which is set out in the Annex to the Timber Regulation. 3.There is a lot of overlap, but in some cases products that are covered by the Timber Regulation are not covered byFLEGT VPAs and viceversa. 4. The Timber Regulation will place a direct obligation in suppliers that first place timber or timber products on the EU. If the timber suppliers sell their product to an operator which places the timber on the EU market, then they wont be directly obliged. Nevertheless,this operator will need data about the timber (ej: species) that the supplier will have to provide. 5. Operators under the TR can be EU based or outside 6. Even when the operator legaly harvests the timber itself, it must always exercise the Due dilligence in accordance with the Timber Regulation: They will need access to the name of the tree species, the
  3. 3. 3 country of harvest, the documents indicating compliance with the legislation inthe country of harvest. Written records must be kept toprove that the dilligence has benn exercised. 7.What consequences will the dilligence have on: a. public authorities in the country exporting timber to the EU? These Public Authorities might be approached by the EU MemeberStates authorities for information b. timber harvesting company or a timber supplier (that is not also an operator)? They might be approached for information about the species, origin of the harvest, etc. 8.Under the TR, the same requirements apply, no matter how many tree species are in one single product placed on the EU market. Details about the multiple species/countries of origin must be provided. 9. The risk that timber is illegal can be no more that „negligible“. The European Commission will provide more information on what „negligible“ means before March 3 2013. 10. The focus for legality of the TR is legality in the country of harvest, even if the product is exported to another country for processing. 11. The Timber Regulation applies to all timber sold in the EU market even if products arrive in the EU via a processing country 12. TheTimber Regulation applies to all timber sold in the EU market, including timber harvested in the EU 13. If a country producing timber is negotiating a VPA but the process is not yet in force and FLEGT licenses are not beig issued, timber can be exported to the EU, and the Timber Regulation will apply. 14. Once FLEGT licenses are issued, a VPA country cannot export to the EU porducts that should have a FLEGT license but don’t, even if they comply with conditions under the Timber Regulation. Exports must have a valid FLEGT license. 15. Certified timber cannot authomatically be considered to be legally harvested for the terms of the TR; the credibility of the certifications may vary. 16. What is the role of the certification in relation to the VPAs? In order to obtain a FLEGT license, timber must comply with the requirements of a LAS (Legally Assurance System),which uses certification schemes to prove compliance 17. What will happen to timber products found to be illegal under either the Timber Regulation or the FLEGT VPA? Timber Regulation: The operator will have broken the law of an EU Member State,so it will be subject to enforcement regime in that country. VPA:If timber does not comply with LAS requirements, then it cannot be exported to the EU. The timber will be treated according to that country’s legal system. 18. The harvesting country’s laws concerning the Timber Regulation include legal rights of third parties affected by use and tenure of harvest,which count as environmental and social safeguards. 19.If an independent monitor or third parties have information proving that timber placed on the EU market is illegally harvested, it should present it to the relevant authorities. VPAs contain provisions for an independent audit body appointed by the government. Sometimes the inependent monitor can be a civil organization such as an NGO 20. A complaint mechanism is foreseen in most VPAs in order to receive claims for illegally harvested timber. At this stage,few mechanisms have been developed. There are multiple sources on information to be consulted, depending on the type of timber in question.
  4. 4. 4  FLEGT-REDD+ linkages Briefing note 3. Working together effectively (January 2011) Proforest Briefing produced to inform EU Member States officials about FLEGT-REDD+ linkages. REDD+ is an international mechanism designed to incentivate the protection of forest carbon stocks in developing countries. FLEGT can support REDD+ implementation by promoting better forest governance and law enforecement. REDD+ can support FLEGT by giving political relevance to changes in the forest sector,and providing better acces to finance. EU and Member States officials should take action in the following areas:  institutional analysis of the actors involved in both FLEGT an d REDD+( donors, government departments, NGOs, private sector..)  Know which initiatives are active and the motivations to engage or not with FLEGT and REDD+. Main REDD+ Initiatives: Forest Carbon Partnership (FCPF),UN-REDD (joint programm of UNDP),Norwegian Government’s International Climate and Forest Initiative, bilateral agreements between EU MS and national governments, the Forest Investment Program. FLEGT and REDD+ can consult different stakeholders with different individual interests, and good communication is necessary to avoid conflicts.  Understand each initiative’s processes. and the outcomes.  If an existing FLEGTT initiative seeks an objective sought already in a REDD+ programm, then it should be considered to enhance the REDD program instead of creating a new process and viceversa. This following areas are of potential collaboration between FLEGT and REDD+.  .Addressing drivers of forest loss that need to be addessed by REDD+. (commercial and illegal logging are fully adresed by FLEGT, energy, clearance for illegal agriculture, as well as land speculation, mining or fire are only partially addresed by FLEGT)  . Adressing challenges of governance: FLEGT and VPA negotiations already dealt with corruption and other governance issues, so REDD+ strategie should use FLEGT mechanisms and data. VPAs are developed centrally and implemented locally, as will REDD programms, so again FLEGT challenge are relevant for REDD+. The same can be applied for the issue of allocation of resources.  FLEGT processes have experience that may be useful for REDD+ in the following areas: Consultation and multi-stakeholder processes,reaching stakeholder groups, dealing with external pressures on the process, negotiations to implementation  Mechanisms for Monitoring, Reporting and Verification.  Coordination of development funds between the two initiatives.
  5. 5. 5  Linkages between FLEGT and REDD+: „Lessons learnt from FLEGT“ (4 December 2010) Valerie MERCKX This document explains, like the former one, the links and recommends joint action areas between FLEGT and REDD+. It also gives information about the role of the EU FLEGT facility, part of the the European Forest Institute. Its role is to assist EU partner countries in the implementatin of FLEGT. The text recommends to work at country level, and start cololaborating in areas such as the reaching and consultation of stakeholders and the MRV systems.  Media Sensitisation Workshop: the VPA (22 August 2013) Chris Beeko, Agyeman Prempeh Koranteng Forestry Commission The document explains first what EU VPA plans are. Afterwards,information about the Ghana VPA is provided: -The reasons for Ghana to engage in it (access to timber market, receiving support in Forests Policy) - The terms of agreements are listed such as the FLEGT licenses schedule or the creation of legal standards. -It lists as objectives the maintenance of access to EU timber market while improving the national forest regulatory systems. It also mentions the restructuring of the industry to make it more competitive. -It explains the novelties under the VPA:new system to check compliance with existing law, new system of collecting data along the whole process chain, issuing of licenses for EU destinations, the participation of independent monitors, etc -it lists the steps taken in the process so far: the enactment of timber Regulation, the development of LAS, the setting of an impact monitoring framework.  Questions and Answers about FSC and the EU Timber Regulation(11 March 2013) FSC -The text explains first what is the EU Timber Regulation and clarifies the relationship between FSC certifications and the Timber Regulation requirements. - Certifications or third-party verified schemes need to comply with the Regulation requirements to be accepted. - FSC certificates provide only the data needed in a DDS (for risk assessment and risk mitigation. There is one element missing in FSC Certification about “trade and customs forest legislation”. -FSC certification scheme is based on the international standards of ISO Guide 65 and complies with ISEAL norms -ASI (Acreditation Service International) accredits the Certification bodies that verify compliance with FSC certificate criteria.
  6. 6. 6 -Other FSC initiatives to assure compliance with the EU TR are: an Online Claims Platform where data about origins and species of supply will be made available for inspection at request of the competent authorities, advising national bodies on how to improve their forest legislation, revision of FSC’s Controlled Wood standards and Risk Verification Program, and finally ensuring that countries with FLEGT partnership meet the arranged legal requirements. -FSC certification does not mean automatic official recognition of legality, but used by operators together with information gathered by using the Online Claims Platform and Advice Notes, will be evidence enough of a good DDS. FSC does NOT develop a full DDS.  GUIDANCE DOCUMENT FORTHE EU TIMBERREGULATION This document addresses certain aspects of the EU Timber Regulation that need clarification. 1. The definition of„placing on the market“: „Placing on the market occurswhen an operatorfirst makes timber products available in the EU market in the course of his commercial activity.“ -The supply must be physically present in the EU .For the first time refers to each individual products placed on the market after the date of entry into application of the EU Timber Regulation, not to a type of product or line. -The regulation does not impose requirements on non-commercial consumers. -„Operators“ will be: a. Companies or individuals that harvest withing the EU or bring timber into the EU for distribution purposes as well as for their exclusive use in their own bussiness. All operators must comply with the prohibition on placing timber illegally on the market. 2.3. Definition ofnegligible risk: Negligible risk should be applied to a supply when there is no cause for concern after the examination of the generaland product specific information. 4. Clarification of the requirement for documents indicating compliance oftimber with applicable legislation. If there is no internationally agreed definition of what is legally harvested timber, then the basis for defining the legality of harvested timber are found in the legislation of the couintry of harvest. Documents indicating compliance with the legislation of the country of harvest should be collected as part of the diligence obligation 5a. Clarification ofthe product scope-packaging materials: When articles such as cartons, boxes and other packaging containers are placed in themarket only as packages for another product , they are NOT subjected to the Regulation. However,containers giving the product part of its essential character such as decorative boxes are subjected to the regulation. b.“waste/recovered“ products: Timber products that are produced from material that otherwise would have been considered wate are exemted from the Regulation.
  7. 7. 7 6. The role ofthird parties verified schemesin the processofrisk assessment and risk mitigation: a. background information If an organization that is not the forest manager, trader, customer or manufacturer issues a certificate, this is named third-party certification. These third-parties are required to adhere to standards set from the International organization for Standardisation. Systems managing environmental or quality management standards might not be so rigorous. b. Guidance In order to check the legality of the timber harvest, an operator should choose a certification scheme with standards that include all the applicable legislation. Organizations granting certifications usually carry a label and are able to provide information about the coverage of the certification. The following questions can be used to assess the credibility of third-party certification; -fullfillement of articles in Article 4 of Regulation no 607/2012 -Compliance of certification with international or EU standards -Accreditation of third-party organization 7.Regular evaluation ofa due diligence system A due diligence system should be regularly checked by someone from withing the organization or by someone external in order to identify weaknesses or failures. In the case of timber, it should be checked that all necesary information is collected, analyzing risks of illegal components in the product. 8. Composite products An operator working with a composite product needs to get information about all material in the mix; species, location of origin, and legality of origin. 9. Forest sector Applicable legislation refersto the legislation of the country of harvest, not the country of export to the EU. 10. Treatment ofCITES and FLEGT-Licensed Timber Timber and Timber products with FLEGT license or CITES fully meet the EU Timber Regulation, and so operators do ot need to conduct due dilligence and the products will be considred as legally harvested.
  8. 8. 8  Joint Press release: 30 September 2013 FLEGT VPA: Indonesia and EU sign Historic Accord on Trade in legaly harvested Timber Forest Trends,Rights+resources This text gives notice of an FLEGT-VPA accord signed between the EU and Indonesia after six years of negotiations on 30 September 2013. A national licensing system based on the FLEGT principles will be implemented. Ratification will proceed the signature of the accord,and implementation will follow when the two parts agree that the licensing is ready. It also gives information about the SVLK; the current Indonesian legality framework system for timber, which provides assurance of the compliance with Indonesian legislation of timber exports. This licensing scheme using V-legal documents was implemented on January 2013.  Aide Memoire of the Fith Negotiation Sessionbetween the Republic of Liberia and the European Union (15-17 March 2011) The Republic of Liberia and the European Union The memoire gives notice of the key points agreed upon in fifth session of the VPA negotiations between Liberia and the EU and sets the need for modifications in the following points: Firstly,the VPA Legal Text has to ommit an article specifying a time limit for EU MS authorities to request information on the validity of FLEGT licenses. Secondly, the Legality Assurance System text needs more clarity on legality verification procedures. Other key points of the meeting were:First, the setting out of roles and relationships between different government agencies, related laws still under development, the requirements for legal certification. Secondly, theTechnical specifications of FLEGT licenses: validity, logos, identification numbers, etc. Finally, a list of items that Liberia needs to work on before implementation was set up, such as the strengthening of civil society monitoring or the development of the private sector.  COMUNICATING VPAs: A case Study from Indonesia This document is a presentation on how to present a VPA to a potential partner country and try to change negative perceptions about it. Good communication strategies are essential because negotiating VPAs is more a political than a technical process:and this means that support is needed from stakeholders to progress VPA,overcome vested interests and overcome government’s fears of loss of sovereignty. Good ways of presenting a VPA include adapting discourse and communication to the specific country or stakeholders you are negotiating with. The Case Study of the failed negotiation in Indonesia and a new presentation strategy is presented. Its main point is to contact key stakeholders and learn their views on logging and the VPA,and based on
  9. 9. 9 that, develop a communication strategy. Another important point is to work with partners that can provide connections with top businesses and elites in Indonesia, experience in the field, and knowledge of the local culture and society.  The EU Timber Regulation and Voluntary Partnership. Agreements work together to combat illegal logging and improve forest governance (March 2013) EU FLEGT Facility European Forest Institute,EFI, European Union The leaflet explains what are the EU TR and the VPA and their relationship with the FLEGT: -The EU TR is defined as the binding legislation that came into force on March 2013 prohibiting the entrance of illegal timber in the EU, being legal timber the one that is in compliance with the laws of the country of harvest. - It explains the Due Diligence that operators have to follow when placing timber in the EU,and the type of information about the derived products, origins and species of the timber that is needed. -EU operators don need the Due Diligence, only a CITES permit. -Certified timber will still be subject to the EU TR. - A VPA is defined as a bilateral treaty between the EU and a timber producing country with the purpose of ensuring that only legal timber is exported into the EU. The new rules will benefit businesses that have already adopted responsible trade practices, so they won’t be undermined by others buying from cheaper illegal sources.  VPA VISION FOR LEGALITY. (7/14 September 2013) Ttj online. This article looks at the causes for the slowness in the VPA implementation process. Therer are have severalcauses; firstly, that countries working towards the implementation of VPAs have also to go the through EU TR’s due diligence , so the drive to achieve a full VPA is slowed down. Secondly, less developed IT systems used to trace timber, insufficient legislation and lack of transparency may also slow down the implementation process. On the other hand, the slowness of implementation testifies about the improvements being carried in countries engaged in a VPA process. Also, statistics show that while 6 countries are still in the process of implementing and 7 in the process of negotiation, the interest has not slowed down, as 10 countries
  10. 10. 10 have requested information. Moreover, non EU states are getting involved too, as China and Brazil have also engaged into legality systems development, and Australia would recognize FLEGT licenses.  United States Lace Act & EU Timber Regulation. Best Practice for Vietnamese wood product manufacturers. 2011. Tft delivering responsible products, Hawa http://www.wri.org/fla/laws_lacey.php , The document informs Vietnamese wood producers about the EU TR and the Lacey Act in order help them to reduce the risk of illegal timber being exported to the US or EU. The Lacey Act of2008 considers ilegal plants harvested,sold or trasnported in violation of the law of the US or any foreign country. False labelling and importing certain plants without import declaration is ilegal too. Anyone importing or exporting ilegal plants according to the Act inthe US can be prosecuted, no matter if the product is accepted under the legislation of the foreign country. Timber and timber products are included in the regualtion except live plants and materials used for research. As there no procedure that ensures compliance with the Lacey Act, third part certificates do not prove legality. Therefore,a „ Due care“ should be taken by companies to ensure the legality of their products. Penalties can range from forfeiture of goods to higher. The EU Timber Regulation includes the prohibition to import illegal timber into the EU and the need to follow a Due Diligence System since its operational date of March 2013. Operators who first place products in the EU market are liable. All timber products ar covered by the regulation except tools, recycled products, wood wool or flour, jewelery or kitchenware. The penalties will be different in each Member State and can include seizure of the goods,suspension of trade or fines. A DDS sould include the origin of the harvest, the name of the supplier and trader, and risk assesment and risk mitigation analysis. Certification does not give a product authomatic legality but a „low risk „ status. Only CITES and FLEGT labelled timber will be considered legal. The authors recommend to follow these steps in order to comply with both EU TR and Lacey Act:Firstly, build a team that is knowledgeable about US and Eu law, that can build the necesssary procedures and that can unse the expertise of NGOs, government agencies and other adivsors. Secondly, track supply chains and introduce a Chain of Custody System. Thridly, conduct risk assessment and formalize a Wood Purchasing policy. The texts includes a Legality checklist.
  11. 11. 11  Lessons Learned from Civil Society Efforts to Promote Community (Forest) Resource Rights and other Rights in Voluntary Partnership Agreements ( 18 October 2013) Forest Trends,Rights+resources The paper analyzes severalinitiatives carried by civil society organizations engaged in FLEGT negotiations that can serve as a example for further efforts to develop a rigths based agenda in different countries. The countries analyzed are Ghana , Indonesia, Cameroon, CentralAfrican Republic, Republic of Congo and Liberia. In each country, different types of rights are assessed. The positive features are: First, as monitoring compliance by civil society is included in VPA provissions, it has achieved a formal role in all countries. Accordingly, transparency in logging operations and process has improved enormously during the negotiation phases. During the implementation phase, however, in countries such as Cameroom or Ghana access information has supposed a struggle. With more information, CSOs have had more influence to promote their rights agenda. In consequence,VPAs are likely to be positive for promoting basic livelihood rights. Second, VPA processes have established links between EU and national NGOs, strengtening the latters capacity to defend comunity rights. Thirdly, signs show that governments of VPA partners are more sensitive to forest governance. The following negative features were found: -Advances on rights are limited in many cases only to commercial timber estraction, not to palm oil, or mining activities. - stakeholders state,as in Indonesia, increases in price will be necessary for small producers to cover LAS costs even with subsidies. - lack of focus of the CSOs after negotiations, with a retreat to traditional attitudes.  Making the Forest Sector Transparent: VPA Trasnsparency Gap Assesment 2012 Global Witness The document shows the results of a VPA transparency assesment made by local NGOs inGhana, Cameroon and Liberia by reviewing website and other information sources of authorities and organizations. The deficiencies found were the following: In Cameroon information was partial, as in the case of tax or fine data, or not available, as in the case of production data. In Ghana, the information is only provided on written request, and there is little on official websites. In Liberia, there is no information on PUPs,or penalties, and social agreements are not published. The authors recommend more collaboration between NGOs and goverrnents.
  12. 12. 12  Forest Watch Special-VPA Update (May 2013) FERN This article reports about the growing concern about the diminishing appeal and efficiency of VPAs and analyzes the current situation by areas. It first analyzes African VPAs,at different stages of the VPA process, finding the following causes for concern: political inestabiblity, no coordination between governements and NGOs,CSOs under threat, or misallocation of legal permits to foreign non sustainable agroindustrial companies. In Asia, Indonesia has developed its own TLAS system, called System verifikasi Legalitas Kayu. In Malaysia, internal divisions and difficult negotiations put the process in standstill. In Laos, still in the pre-negotiation stage, civil society is under threat, so it enjoys very limited scope of action. Vietnam is in the negotiation part of the process, but refuses to demand transparency to prove the legality of the imports of its neighbour countries. National NGOs are having an increased role in assessing, informing about VPA effects,etc. In Latin America,both in Guyana and Honduras, no significant steps have been taken yet, as Honduras‘ trade with the EU is very small and in Guyana the process of consultation is locked by the Amerindian Peoples Association.  What are FLEGT VPAs? Logging Off This leaflet informs about what a VPA is, its goals, who is involved in it, its context in EU FLEGT plan, the objectives of a VPA and the elements of a VPA (Legaltimber definition, LAS, independent audits).It also explains how a VPA should look like( articles setting out the agreement,the main text, and the annexes) and the process of agreement (Pre-negotiation, negotiation, initialling and ratification folled by entry into force). Challenges of VPA negotiations are listed. Proper stakeholder involvement, timing, and will to reach consensus are essential. Advantages of VPAs are stroger cooperation between governments, civil society and private sector, more participation of civils in political decissions that concern them, improved governance, and joint producer-consumer action.
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  • KellyAnderson356028

    Dec. 1, 2021

The text assesses the existence and availability of the information listed in VPA about legal frameworks and procedures or forest activities: -It finds that there are difficulties in the interpretation of complex information and dissemination depends on the authority’s discretion. -EU will support the implementation of VPA by and activating civil society to demand and use data. In Ghana, the EU will work to establish a formal agreement on which documents should be routinely published. -Ghana: no binding obligation to publish data routinely. Legal documents are available, but mostly after written request. -Cameroon: commits the parties to publish information on specific items. There is missing implementing regulation and key information on logging permits. Almost no data on production, plans, exports, social agreements, etc -Liberia: Legal documents available, but missing information on private use permits, production, and law enforcement.

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