In a recent paper by the European Forest Institute (EFI), EU-FLEGT Asia Programme and GIZ-ProFEB, the role of non-state stakeholders is being addressed. This paper takes stock of the involvement of non-state actors (civil society organisations and the private sector) in the negotiations of the Lao PDR with the European Union (EU) on the Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA). It starts with an overview of the status of the EU-Lao PDR FLEGT VPA as of January 2022, focusing specifically on the status of the technical work and the roles of stakeholders in providing their inputs on this technical work through the negotiation process. The paper provides a comprehensive account of the stakeholder engagement structures that are formally established to ensure that the FLEGT VPA negotiations in Lao PDR are participatory and consultative. The paper then narrows the focus to assess how non-state actors got involved and explain their roles and their engagement in influencing the content and direction of the EU-Lao PDR FLEGT VPA. This is followed by the challenges that these non-state actors have faced and the prospects in the future.
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