Guide Asking the Earth: Farms, Forestry and Survival in India (Natural Resource Management Set)

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This must be done by using strategies and technology that break the link between, on the one hand, economic growth and on the other, environmental damage and resource depletion. Further information: Ecological economics. Further information: Ecosystem services. Further information: Social sustainability. Social disruptions like war, crime and corruption divert resources from areas of greatest human need, damage the capacity of societies to plan for the future, and generally threaten human well-being and the environment.

Sustainability principles 1. Retrieved on: Thapa eds. Greifswald: Steinbecker Verlag Ulrich Rose. ISBN The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary. Oxford: Clarendon Press. United Nations General Assembly. Retrieved 1 March What is Sustainable Development? Capitalism as if the world mattered.

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London: Earthscan. Organization 13 6 : Retrieved on Understanding Sustainable Development. February 24, A Short History of Progress. Toronto: Anansi. Stories from the Stone Age. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Bayliss-Smith, T. Feachem eds. London: Academic Press, pp. Environmental Health: Ecological Perspectives. Meadows, J. Randers, and W. Behrens III. The Limits to Growth. New York: Universe Books. Living Planet Report Ecosystems and Human Well-being: Biodiversity Synthesis. Department of Commerce. Carbon Cycle Science. In depth: "Climate Change.

Clark, Nancy M. Chapter 5. The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants. Retrieved Sustainability Appraisal. Island Press, London. Sustainability Indicators. Measuring the Immeasurable? BBC News. January 12, London: Island Press, pp. ISSN March "Stern attacks politicians over climate 'devastation'". The Guardian. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. October Retrieved June 17, World Resources — Oxford: Oxford University Press. Environmental Project No. Summary for Policymakers.

One of many carbon calculators readily accessible on the web. A New Appraisal and Assessment for the 21st century. Agriculture and Human Values 19 2 : 99— June, Journal of the American Dietetic Association 6 : — American Public Health Association. September Lancet : February Journal of Animal Science. March Vital waste graphics 2. Ecological Economics 24 : — Statistics for pesticide use around the world. Our Common Journey. Washington: National Academic Press. Desert Solitaire.

New York: Viking Books. Boston: Beacon Press. December Green Economics. London: Earthscan, pp. Ecological economics: the concept of scale and its relation to allocation, distribution, and uneconomic growth. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar. Uneconomic growth and the built environment: in theory and in fact.

Kibert ed. Washington DC: Island Press. May In Gardner, H. Central and South-central Europe in Transition. Westport, Connecticut: Praeger, pp. Vermont Commons. Eco-Municipalities: Here to Stay". April, Summary also available here [7]. Adams, W. Blewitt, J. Botkin, D. Discordant Harmonies, a New Ecology for the 21st century. New York: Oxford University Press.

Bookchin, M. Post Scarcity Anarchism. Oakland: AK Press, pp. The Ecology of Freedom: the emergence and dissolution of hierarchy. Social Ecology and Communalism. Oakland: AK Press, p. Brower, M. Or will COP21 be yet another international meeting that renders gender equality irrelevant to climate change, and creates an environmental protocol without the mechanisms to enforce it? COP began as an international response to climate change with the Rio Earth Summit in and a commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions on a global scale.

The U.

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However, in the past these powerhouse countries have failed to prioritize the critical role of and impacts on women in the global environmental movement. One of the many reasons women are so incredibly impacted by the effects of climate change is due to the vital role they play in securing the natural resources that their families depend upon for survival, such as clean water, food, and fuel. These women are already forced to mitigate the effects of climate change that drive soil erosion, drought, and food scarcity, and through traditional methods and knowledge these women are able to adapt successfully.

The Copenhagen Consensus stated that agriculture research is the single most effective way to invest in fighting malnourishment. Combine this with the fact that agriculture is one of the biggest contributors to pollution, and the answer is straightforward: Invest in women as keepers of traditional knowledge and stewards of natural resources, provide them with the support and networks necessary to develop their community-based, sustainable solutions, and witness how the ripple of their efforts become a wave of transformation.

But one of the biggest challenges in constructing an effective international protocol is designing the mechanisms to enforce it.

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Past COPs have only created legally non-binding frameworks for treaty negotiations, such as the Kyoto Protocol. So long as countries can opt out of ratifying treaties that might actually impact their emission levels, there seems little prospect for any sort of enforcement on pollutant control. A global accord where individual countries are actually held accountable to their actions is an opportunity to create environmental protocols that invest in the women leaders who are already adapting to these changes.

For WEA and our allies around the world, we can only hope that this rare opportunity for change will not overlook women—who are critical agents in any long-term plans for our earth and future generations—and that those world leaders like Laurent Fabius will hold true to their words. Each investment brings frontline women closer to implementing real solutions for our planet.

Other ways to give. Our Blog: Land. Customers can specify paper requirements based on their environmental sourcing commitments. Contact: GreenBlue Phone: Understanding the position of a company in the supply chain can help identify priorities and key areas of influence. Over 80, companies are represented on the platform, including a substantial coverage of the timber and paper industry and all PEFC certified companies. To be represented in the platform, users invite their suppliers to share supply chain data on their products in a simple and efficient matter.

Once the data is uploaded, the retailer can see and verify product data, ask customized questionnaires and trace shipments. Contact: info global-traceability. Requesting documentation from suppliers is a common method of tracing the origin of raw materials. A supply chain can be regarded as a chain of legally binding contractual relationships; purchasers can trace the supply chain through contracts, and require that their suppliers commit to providing raw materials that were harvested in compliance with the law, or meet other customer specifications 1.

In places where the law — both background law and contract law — is strong and properly enforced, sales contracts can be a good compliance mechanism. All of these documents should carry appropriate stamps and seals from the relevant governmental or certification agencies. However, false documentation can be common in certain countries and additional systems to trace the raw materials back to their origins, within the limits of feasibility, may be needed in some cases. Working with those directly involved in the supply chain will help develop a better understanding of the challenges, costs and other impacts associated with implementing additional tracking systems.

Forest managers, forest owners, government agencies and certification bodies active in the area can provide useful information. A high degree of vertical integration makes traceability simpler. However, in some countries such as in the United States, companies are becoming less integrated, selling off their forest lands and thereby externalizing traceability. In some cases competition laws may limit the amount of information that customer and supplier may exchange. In the US, for instance, a pulp mill owned by a company may buy chips from sawmills owned by one or more companies.

All these companies may compete against each other to buy logs from landowners, and the information about their respective suppliers may be highly proprietary business information; sharing this information directly or through a common customer may be improper and perceived as anti-competitive.

A Chain-of-custody certificate documents and systematically verifies the flow of the materials from their origin in the forest to their end-use. Knowing the context and conditions surrounding the harvesting of the raw materials and the manufacturing processes of the products is important. A knowledgeable buyer will be in a better position to properly assess the social and environmental claims of a product e. When information to support the claims of the product is not complete, accurate, or enough for the buyer to properly assess these claims, monitoring and verification are used to add credibility to the process.

In some cases information may come from long and well-established business relationships. In other cases the buyer may wish to consult outside sources for additional information. Monitoring and verification systems tend to be designed differently depending on which part or aspect of the supply chain production in the forest or manufacturing processes they address:.

Areas with higher risk of encountering unacceptable practices require more due diligence and more detailed information than areas with lower risk. Voluntary forest certification schemes have been developed to guide the marketplace. These systems allow interested producers to be independently assessed against a locally appropriate standard and to be recognized in the marketplace through a label that certifies compliance.

The appropriateness of the standard includes having the right content for the right place, but also entails the process by which the standard was defined and implemented. The choice of systems varies by geography, and many forest companies are certified to both systems depending on the location of their operations. Table 3 is NOT meant to be an exhaustive comparison. A proper comparison should include more detail of aspects such as compliance with international standards, system governance, accreditation, certification, criteria used as basis for the systems, performance on the ground, and others Nussbaum and Simula, A list of comparisons can be found in Section III of this guide.

Some of these comparisons represent the interests of specific stakeholder groups that claim there are significant differences between the certification systems. This table is not meant to be an exhaustive comparison. A list of references to more detailed comparisons can be found "Additional Resources".

FSC is a system of national and regional standards consistent with ten principles of SFM that cover the following issues:. These principles were developed by a global partnership of stakeholders convened by FSC. The principles apply to all tropical, temperate and boreal forests and are to be considered as a whole. All national and regional standards are derived in-country from the ten principles.

The principles are expected to be used in conjunction with national and international laws and regulations, and in compatibility with international principles and criteria relevant at the national and sub-national level FSC Policy and Standards; principles and criteria of forest stewardship FSC, , amended in PEFC is a mutual recognition mechanism for national and regional certification systems.

Endorsed certification systems are assessed to be consistent with international agreements such as ILO core conventions, as well as conventions relevant to forest management and ratified by the countries, such as the Convention on Biological Diversity CBD , CITES and others.

There is some variation with standards exceeding these requirements PEFC, PEFC endorses certification systems once they have successfully gone through the external assessment process using independent evaluators. Endorsed SFM standards can carry their own brand names. FSC is a multi-stakeholder owned system. All FSC standards and policies are set by a consultative process. Economic, social, and environmental interests have equal weight in the standard settint process. FSC website.

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CoC certificates state the geographical location of the certificate holder; the standard against which the certificate was issued, and identify the scope, product s or product s group s covered PEFC, B. An EMS is generally defined as a series of processes and practices seeking to assess and reduce the environmental impact of an organization, while an SMS encompasses the management of interactions between an organization and its social environment.

The presence or absence of viable EMS and SMS programs can be useful in assessing a supplier's efforts to improve environmental and social performance and enhance compliance with pre-determined standards EPE, Third-party verification systems, including chain-of-custody certification Table 3: General characteristics of the two major systems for forest certification and some ecolabels Box 3 below can also be of help.

A company may want to inform consumers about the environmental claims of a specific product or service through the use of ecolabels. Ecolabeling is a voluntary certification and verification process. There are many ecolabels in the world. There may be products bearing ecolabels that do not actually meet the label's environmental standards. The International Organization for Standardization ISO and other institutions provide guidance on general labeling standards to help in selecting ecolabels:.

In general, and at a global scale, large industrial forests and forests plantations are mostly certified to FSC, while public forests and small land holder forests are mostly certified to PEFC. There is no universally accepted definition of illegal logging and associated trade. Strictly speaking, illegality is anything that occurs in violation of the legal framework of a country.

Most policies seek to ensure that products come from legal and sustainable sources. Many policies include step-wise implementation approaches. FLEGT-licenses where available. Recommended to sub-national governments. However, where a particular type of product or timber species is required and where there is no sustainable timber or FLEGT-licensed timber or alternative available, timber that is verified to meet the UK government requirements for legality can be accepted.

Only legality verification systems ensuring full legal compliance as delivered by the VLC definition will be accepted. Procurement mangers are required to refer to tools such as forest certification, ecolabels, or supplying countries to define which legislation is relevant. Evidence of legality will be accepted only where sustainable wood is unavailable.

Credible, documentary evidence. Evidence is assessed on a case-by-case basis, based on the Timber Procurement Assessment Commitment guidelines. Legality, in itself, not enough as sustainability is the minimum requirement. Abroad missions of the Federal armed forces are exempt. If serious deficiencies e. A review will be conducted in to determine if and how wood from FLEGT-licensed timber is incorporated in the procurement policy.

Ban of tropical timber in public sector construction. The policy itself has no requirements for timber legality or sustainability, but the technical requirements for ecolabeling timber products requires that 1 imported wood originates from sustainably managed forests; 2 domestic wood complies with relevant laws and regulations; and that 3 wood products meet CITES requirements.

The policy is mandatory to central government agencies. Illegal logging can generally fall into two broad categories: illegal origin ownership, title or origin , and lack of compliance in harvesting, processing, and trade. The following are examples of activities that have been identified or included in some definitions of illegal logging based on Contreras-Hermosilla, ; Miller et al.

Different definitions of illegal logging can lead to different estimates, which makes addressing the problem more difficult Contreras-Hermosilla et al. A definition of illegal logging generally follows from an analysis of national laws. Since laws vary among countries, so does what is legal and what is illegal. Many countries also have highly complex laws with contradictions between different regulations.

One approach to address this issue is to conduct a national review to identify and develop agreement between key stakeholders about which laws are most relevant and should be included in a definition. Many countries have enacted log export ban policies to protect forests or to bolster their domestic timber industry. Below is a non-exhaustive list of export bans. CITES is an international, legally binding agreement to ensure that international trade of certain animals and plants including wood from certain tree species does not threaten their survival.

CITES establishes controls for the international trade of selected species. All import, export, and introduction of species covered by the convention must be authorized through a licensing system established by member countries.

Each country designates one or more Management Authorities that administers the licensing system advised by one or more Scientific Authorities. Legality is not a synonym for sustainable forest management. Illegal logging of wood and paper-based products results from a complex set of legal, historical, political, social, and economic issues. Poverty, limited education, financial issues, economic instability and population growth are enabling factors for illegal activity as well. Illegal activity has many drivers that make it challenging to address. Government officials at local and national levels, companies, and local people can all have a role to play in illegal forest activities:.

Estimates of illegal logging in specific countries and regions vary, depending on the nature of the activity, and the variability of laws and regulations Figure 5. Most of the illegally produced wood is used domestically, although a significant portion enters the international trade, either as finished products or raw materials Seneca Creek and Wood Resources International, During the last five to ten years, addressing illegal logging and illegal trade has risen to the top of the international forestry agenda.

Several international processes 1 have taken up this issue. Trade regulations such as the amendment of the U. This table highlights a few examples of private procurement policies that address the legality of the wood and paper-based products they purchase.

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For the purposes of this Guide, the table focuses exclusively on legality. The policy requires suppliers to have processes and systems in place to ensure that the wood meets the requirements. Suppliers are required to report the origin, volume and species of the wood used in the products three times a year detailed reporting annually , and they must accept auditing at various steps in the supply chain. Wood from high risk areas for illegal logging undergoes audits all the way back to the forest. Audit is conducted by the company forester or an independent auditor.

IKEA promotes the use of FSC certified sources with full Chain of Custody certification to the direct suppliers to the company referred to as preferred sources. Virgin fiber should be traceable down to the forests where the legal origin can be verified either by legality certification, or by credible evidence. Policy requires suppliers to have processes in place to ensure that virgin fiber for packaging comes from known and legal sources. For virgin fiber from other countries, the policy requires credible and reliable documentation to prove the legal origin of the fiber.

Documentation should identify the source location, the source entity, and each intermediary in the supply chain. Policy requires suppliers to have mechanisms in place to ensure that the timber has been harvested and traded in compliance with applicable laws, including CITES requirements. Policy accepts a FSC certified sources with full chain of custody certification, and b PEFC certified sources for non tropical species with full chain of custody certification.

Exceptions to PEFC certified sources include: PEFC certified sources of European wood when supported with full chain of custody certification and confirmation from the vendor that all material used originated in Europe; and other sources of PEFC certified wood when supported with full chain of custody certification and evidence of independent assurance that the sources comply with the requirements of the FSC controlled wood standard.

At times, the policy accepts products from sources engaged in step-wise processes towards certification, if there is an independently verifiable action plan. There are exceptions to the policy on a case-by-case basis where fully-compliant products are not available. In these cases, suppliers might obtain a grace period to meet the policy requirements. Xerox paper suppliers worldwide must have a process to exclude illegally-harvested wood materials from papers sold to Xerox.

Policy requires suppliers to submit detailed documentation to verify conformance to all applicable environmental, health and regulatory requirements, including forestry codes of practice and regulations governing legal harvesting of wood. Wood fiber, includes pulp, logs, whole log chips, woodchips and sawdust. The company will not knowingly use illegally harvested wood fiber; illegally harvested wood fiber is defined as wood fiber obtained in violation of applicable government forest management requirements or other applicable laws and regulations.

Also, Kimberly Clark Corporation will not knowingly use conflict wood wood traded in way that drives violent armed conflict or threatens national or regional stability. In terms of legality, other certification systems might be accepted provided that they demonstrate, as verified by a third-party, conformity with international legislation, agreements and accords, and compliance with national and local legislation and regulations.

Suppliers are encouraged to achieve FSC certification for sustainable forest management or controlled-wood chain of custody certification, if they have not done so. Kimberly-Clark will work with suppliers to achieve certification within a reasonable time frame. Suppliers are required to report regularly concerning compliance with the policy. The Corporation tracks and reports annually the amount of wood fiber purchased under each forest certification system.

As part of the verification system, the corporation works with suppliers and others to effectively trace wood fiber to its origin in the forest. When the Corporation enters into long-term agreements with suppliers, it includes language that enables the Corporation to enforce its policy. Purchasing contracts can be terminated or not-renewed for suppliers that are non-compliant with the Kimberly—Clark policy.

One of the long term goals of the policy is to source and trade paper products certified under the FSC system. The policy is being implemented in a step-wise approach to increase the proportion of products certified under the FSC standard. Suppliers are required to comply with all environmental and forestry laws and regulations.

Suppliers are asked to confirm the sources of the fiber in the products, and indicate if the fiber has been legally harvested and traded. Suppliers are also asked to demonstrate that their products do not come from controversial sources, including wood harvested in violation of traditional and civil rights. Staples surveys paper product suppliers to confirm the sources of the fiber of their products and the certification requirements. The company also has a third party to assess the supply chain of the products on a random sample of the supplier base to confirm the validity of the information about the products.

For suppliers sourcing from areas identified as potentially controversial e. Top suppliers are also requested to periodically report the environmental performance of their paper making facilities, or the papermakers from where they purchase the paper. The policy is being implemented in a phased approach to all paper products suppliers, starting with markets in North America and moving to Europe and other international markets.

Implementation is prioritized to address potential risk based on the country of origin, source, and transparency of the supply chain. Weyerhaeuser will not knowingly purchase wood, wood fiber, or products for distribution that originate from illegal logging. Within the U. The company will take steps to ensure that their raw materials and products for distribution either originate in countries with effective laws against illegal logging, or are independently certified or verified under credible and transparent safeguards.

The safeguards might include environmental management systems if the risk of illegal logging is significant. The company may work with suppliers that demonstrate the ability to come in compliance with the Weyerhaeuser policy within an agreed-upon timeframe. Fiber must be traceable back to the source of harvest.

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Trade association policies and guidelines are, however, often voluntary. In May 22, , the U. Congress amended the year-old Lacey Act on the prohibition of transporting and trading illegally gathered wildlife or wildlife products to include plants and plant-products. On October 20, , the European Parliament approved the European Union Timber Regulation, requiring those who place timber and timber products in the market place to curb illegally harvested timber and timber products. In the Australian Parliament approved the Illegal Logging Prohibition, banning the import or processing of wood logged in violation of the laws in the country of origin.

Relevant legislation includes: legal rights to harvest; taxes and fees related to harvesting; compliance with timber harvesting laws, including forest management and biodiversity conservation laws; respect for third parties' legal rights and tenure; compliance with relevant trade and customs laws. The Regulation does not cover timber products or components of timber or timber products that have completed their lifecycle and would otherwise be disposed of as waste.

It also excludes material used exclusively as packaging to support, protect or carry another product being placed on the market. Department of Justice, The first major enforcement action under the amended Lacey Act occurred in against Gibson Guitar. This action set a precedent on creating due care systems to comply with Lacey. As part of the criminal enforcement agreement between the U. DoJ, In Switzerland, the Ordinance on Declaring Wood and Wood Products Ordonnance sur la Declaration Concernant le Bois et les Produits en Bois from , requires any party selling timber or timber products to consumers to disclose information about the species used in the product, including whether or not the species is listed in CITES, and the place of harvest.

Timber and timber products covered include firewood, roundwood and wood in the rough, pickets and stakes of wood, railway sleepers, sawmill products, sheets for veneering, carpentry, joinery, furniture made entirely of solid wood, and other solid wood items Federal Department of Economic Affairs, ; Schweizerische Eidgenossenschaft, In response to the emergence of legality requirements in the marketplace, a number of voluntary systems and schemes have emerged to help assess and verify the legality of wood and paper-based products Table 8 below.

A number of systems and projects have emerged in response to market demands for legally-sourced products.

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These resources often involve an independent third-party that verifies the legality of the product against a pre-determined standard or set of criteria and indicators. The legality of the products can be verified at two levels: legality of the origin of the timber e. Legality-verification systems and projects often include chain-of-custody criteria to trace the flow of products through the supply chain and to ensure that verified products are handled separately from non-legally verified products.

Below is a general compilation of existing legality standards and voluntary programs put in place by different organizations. Legality is covered in forest management certification standards e. FSC or PEFC ; however, because legality is not the main focus of these standards, they are not included in this table. Third-party system to guarantee the geographic origin of the forest products and the legal compliance of the forest company. Originally developed to demonstrate legality in tropical regions.

Can be applied at the global level. Standard was developed initially by Eurocertifor. Eurocertifor was acquired in by Bureau Veritas; since then, the standard has been reviewed and updated to be applied internationally. Assessment is carried out by an audit team acting on behalf of Bureau Veritas. If needed, additional expert consultants are used.

Observers can also participate in audits. The certification is granted for five years with surveillance audits of at least once a year. The legality verification system is currently available only in Indonesia, with plans to expand into other locations. Within two years after an entity joins the CertiSource system, CertiSource policy requires concessions and sawmills to demonstrate a concrete commitment to reaching FSC certification.

Standard was developed using GFTN's guidelines of timber legality as the generic base. Prior to entering a verification process, a supply-chain audit is conducted to eliminate products that are clearly linked to illegal sources. Verification involves certifying overall concession legality and chain of custody compliance at least once a year in addition to auditing legality for every batch of timber processed under the CertiSource system.

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The system also ensures each pallet of timber can be traced from distributor back to source, and that the CertiSource required commitment from participating concessions and sawmills to achieving FSC certification is adhered to. Standard to validate the legality of the origin of timber. The standard is considered a first step towards SFM certification.

Developed by Keurhout based on experience, existing references, and expert and stakeholder consultation. The standard was developed in coordination with the Netherlands Timber Trade Association. Verification of individual certificates or entire certification systems is carried out by an independent Board of Experts BoE that includes experts with different disciplinary backgrounds and representing different stakeholder groups. Experts are appointed by the Keurhout Management Authority.

Assessments are conducted based on documentation and evidence and, where relevant, may include verification in the field. Validation decisions are made by the BoE. Once validated, a certificate or system is admitted to the Keurhout Legal System. Validity of the admission can be up to 5 years, but it depends on the validity of the individual certificates themselves. Validity includes periodic monitoring.

In addition, Keurhout also facilitates a CoC system for timber trading and processing companies. The CoC system is verified annually by accredited independent Certification Bodies, which are entitled to issue a Keurhout CoC certificate. Standard to verify that timber originates from forest sources that have documented legal rights to harvest. Developed by Rainforest Alliance based on existing references. It involves stakeholder review and consultation when necessary. Assessments are conducted by Rainforest Alliance staff and expert consultants. The process involves stakeholder involvement and consultations.

An extension of the VLO designed to verify that the harvesting operation complies with applicable and relevant forestry laws and regulation. Program to confirm the legality of the source of forest products. The second focuses on tracking timber throughout the supply chain. The Program is applicable globally. The standard is cross-referenced with national and local laws and regulations through review and stakeholder consultations.

Standard can be replaced with another existing, locally recognized, standard that meets or exceeds LHV. Annual audits are required to maintain the participation in the LHV program. Verifies the legal origin of the wood and the rights to harvest the wood. The system is designed to work, wherever possible, within an FSC framework to support companies in achieving FSC certification. Evaluation includes stakeholder consultation to cross-check the standard, add credibility and be transparent.

The Framework consists of 10 principles and various criteria; it was developed to support improvements in the governance of forest sector by providing information on forest-related laws and regulations in a clear and consistent manner. The Framework can be used to develop consistent approaches to defining legality, and to inform efforts to verify legal compliance. Additional information provided includes guides to legal documentation. Guidance intended to help foreign companies verify the legal origin of the wood. It is meant to cover changes to the Russian Forest Code implemented in The checklist was field tested by NepCon.

Checklist can be applied by companies themselves, or by an independent third-party. Anybody applying the checklist should have basic knowledge and experience in forest legislation and forest operations in Russia. Regarded as a medium term solution until an official legality standard is in place in a country.

Checklists are meant to be neutral, widely accepted, pragmatic and auditable, transparent, linked to original sources, and subject to review and adaptation. Developed by TTAP, based on legality definitions and legality verification standards already in place or in development and through stakeholder consultation.

Minimum requirements for chain of custody are considered as part of the checklists. Checklists are used by TTAP staff to assess gaps in the legality of the supply chains and implement supply chain control systems. Bilateral cooperation between consumer and producer markets and free trade agreements are other efforts to address illegal logging. The European Union, through Voluntary Partnership Agreements, works with a select number of countries to build their capacity and support reforms in the governance of their forest sectors, to reduce the production of illegally harvested timber Box 8 below.

The FLEGT Action Plan recognizes that consumer countries contribute to the illegal logging problem through the demand for timber and wood-based products. The Plan encompasses seven measures:. Overall, the Action Plan seeks to develop markets for legal products in Europe, and establish bilateral partnerships Voluntary Partnership Agreements, or VPAs with producing countries to build their capacity and support reforms in the governance of their forest sectors to reduce the production of illegally harvested timber. The VPAs also seek to establish and implement tracking and licensing systems, called Legality Assurance Systems, to ensure that only legally produced products enter the European Union.

Establishing a Voluntary Partnership Agreement involves four phases:. The Voluntary Partnership Agreements focus on the forest sector and their core concern is establishing a shared understanding of what legal timber is and a system for legal enforcement. Nevertheless, VPAs are not meant to resolve other issues that are fundamental to the supply of illegal timber such as land use conflicts or accountability Falconer, Legality definition covers the following aspects: fiscal and administrative requirements; harvesting, forest management and processing operations; transportation; social and environmental requirements.

Companies holding SFM or legality verification certificates from voluntary schemes may receive a "legality certificate" valid for one year without further verification. Private certification schemes will undergo an evaluation by the Cameroonian government to ensure their standards and verification mechanisms satisfy the requirements of the LAS. Legality definition covers the following aspects: legality of the operation; right of access to the resource; social and environmental requirements as well as rights of indigenous and local communities; logging and processing requirements; transportation and traceability; compliance with contractual obligations and relationships with subcontractors for activities other than logging.

LAS applies to all timber and timber products derived from industrial forest operations concessions, plantations ; artisanal and communityproduced products might be covered in the future. A simplified LAS approach for plantations will be developed during the full implementation phase.

An independent auditor will periodically inspect the LAS implementation. Independent audits will occur four times per year in the first year, twice during the second and third years, and once a year from the fourth year onwards. For timber from operations that hold forest management and legality verification certificates, a process will be developed to ensure these voluntary systems meet the requirements of the LAS. Legality definition covers: timber source land ownership ; allocation of timber rights; timber harvesting operations; transportation; processing and trade; and, fiscal obligations.

The definition includes compliance with environmental and social requirements. LAS applies to all timber and timber products produced, processed, traded and exported from Ghana. Central to the LAS system is a wood tracking system to monitor and control timber throughout the supply chain. The definition of legality is applicable to both natural forests and plantations.