Guided by the Prime Minister Order No. 15 on Enhancing Strictness on the Management and Inspection of Timber Exploitation, Timber Movements and Timber Businesses, the Department of Forestry is now further strengthening forest governance with an emphasis on timber from forest land converted due to infrastructure projects, mining, plantations and road construction. At a multi-stakeholder workshop, held on 17 March 2017, the legality standard for wood from conversion areas has been discussed, as part of the initiative led by the Government of Lao PDR and other stakeholders involved in the Lao-EU FLEGT Process (Forest Law Enforcement Governance and Trade).
“By reviewing laws and regulatory instruments for conversion areas to remove inconsistencies and clarifying roles and responsibilities across different ministries involved, the legality of timber from converted forest areas will be better understood and the movement of such timber will be better monitored and traced,” said Mr. Bounpone Sengthong, Deputy Director General of the Department of Forestry, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry. “The thorough legal timber definition will surely enhance understanding among relevant ministries, civil society and private sector, including project investors and developers, especially when it comes to law enforcement practices”, he added.
Once the legal definition of timber has been developed, through multi-stakeholder platforms and discussions with the EU, a field test of the legality definition will be conducted. The test will allow for an additional review of the definition to ensure applicability in the field.
During the workshop, participants also had a chance to discuss the future revision of specific MAF regulations on supply chain control and the preparation for the Joint Expert Meeting and the first Face-to-Face negotiation between Lao PDR and the EU to be organised from 24th to 28th April 2017 in Vientiane under the framework of Lao-EU FLEGT process.
You can download the press release HERE