This statement summarises the views of civil society organizations (CSOs) from Asia and the Pacific, the Americas, Europe, and West and Central Africa. These organizations help address the key challenges threatening forests around the world, including the ongoing trade in illegal timber and commodity-driven deforestation, by proposing lasting solutions that work for people and the planet. If the EU follows these recommendations, it will help to strengthen forest governance, and protect and restore forests globally:
Use the Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) Fitness Check to strengthen the FLEGT Action Plan and the EU Timber Regulation (EUTR) and address the persistent obstacles that hamper their effective implementation.
Maintain the integrity of the Voluntary Partnership Agreements (VPAs) and provide tailored support to VPA countries, ensuring CSOs, local communities and Indigenous Groups have the space and capacity to participate.
Develop ambitious, inclusive, and rights-based Forest Partnerships that respond to the partner countries’ needs.