All about the Gabon-EU Voluntary Partnership Agreement
Forests cover around 85% of the land area of Gabon, or some 22 million hectares. Timber is the country’s second most important export after oil, and the main productive species are redwood, ebony and okoumé. Logging rates have increased significantly in recent years, and 90% of Gabon’s log production is exported, mainly to China and Europe. Gabon shares borders with Cameroon and the Republic of the Congo, both of which are implementing a Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA). Gabon is negotiating a VPA with the EU.
EU programme used to offer regional support of VPAs in Africa
The EU is using its regional programme ECOFAC 5, which focuses on fragile ecosystems, to promote FLEGT throughout the Economic Community of Central African States. A regional FLEGT unit is in place to help facilitate and coordinate regional activities relating to VPA implementation (Cameroon, Central African Republic and Congo) or negotiations (Democratic Republic of the Congo and Gabon).