The Republic of the Congo and the European Union (EU) have released their joint annual report 2021 on the progress on the implementation of their Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) on Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT).
The VPA was signed in 2010 and aims to sustainably manage forests and ensure that all timber and derived products imported into the EU have been legally produced or acquired.
The report provides a detailed overview of the current Congolese forest sector. It also highlights that after 2020, which was impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, VPA implementation activities resumed. The report describes progress on the legality assurance system, the evolution of forest regulations, the involvement of stakeholders, as well as the institutional structures, the monitoring and transparency of the Agreement.
The report was presented at the 16th meeting of the Joint Implementation Committee (JIC), held on 24 November in Brazzaville. The CCM is the body in charge of implementing and monitoring the VPA, and includes representatives of the Congolese administration, civil society and private sector, as well as the EU.