Laos Prepares for Fourth Negotiation with EU to Promote Legal Timber Trade
FLEGT stakeholders met to discuss the draft Timber Legality Definitions (TLD) and other elements of the timber legality assurance system (TLAS) at the February Negotiation Support and Development Committee (NSDC) meeting in preparation for the fourth negotiation round with the European Union (EU).
The 3rd negotiation round in June 2019 provided the Technical Working Groups (TWG) with key comments from the EU negotiation team for the Lao side to review and consider. In early February, the TWG consisting of representatives from all concerned ministries, CSOs, academia, private sector and support organizations have jointly worked on the review of the comments and the finalization of TLDs for timber from conversion areas (TLD 2), plantations (TLD 3), natural timber from village use forest and land of individuals, legal entities or organizations (TLD 4), confiscated timber (TLD 5) and imported timber (TLD 6). Representatives from the European Forestry Institute (EFI) also participated in the NSDC meeting in February, and shared their views and reiterated questions from the last negotiations.
FLEGT Standing Office (FSO) updated the stakeholders on the Lao-EU FLEGT VPA, related policy reforms and the roadmap until the next negotiation. Following the key points of the last negotiation, the stakeholders discussed on the proposal of piloting of supply chain control and compliance verification of TLAS elements, especially of TLD 2, 7 and 8 in an infrastructure project in Khammouane and Attapeu, the FLEGT pilot provinces The NSDC has jointly appointed key presenters for the next negotiation.