The sixth and final formal negotiation session of the Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) between the EU and Côte d’Ivoire on Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) was held on 1 June 2022. The FLEGT VPA aims to ensure the legality and traceability of timber exported from Côte d’Ivoire to the EU to improve the sustainability of the timber sector.
During the session, the two parties agreed on the principles for the signature of the Agreement and celebrated an important step in their cooperation on the sustainable management of Ivorian forest resources. The FLEGT VPA will contribute to improve forest governance, fight illegal logging and promote legal timber trade between Côte d’Ivoire and the European Union (EU). In addition, for the first time, gender equality is explicitly included in a FLEGT VPA, in line with Côte d’Ivoire’s and the EU’s commitments to integrate women in natural resources management.
“Having lost 90% of its forest cover over the past 60 years, Côte d’Ivoire has undertaken several reforms with a view to stop deforestation, preserve remaining forests and restore forest cover to 20% of the territory. Through the FLEGT VPA, particular emphasis is placed on forest governance and the fight against illegal logging”, said General Conservator Zouzou Epse Mailly Elvire Joëlle, Chief Negotiator of Côte d’Ivoire.
Chantal Marijnissen, European Chief Negotiator, said at the closing of the session that “Côte d’Ivoire and the EU are celebrating an important milestone in their cooperation against illegal logging. We must now focus on the preparation for the implementation of the VPA to achieve its social, environmental and economic objectives within a reasonable timeframe. The EU will continue to support Côte d’Ivoire’s efforts in this regard”.
Read the joint communication (in French):