The Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) between Cameroon and the European Union has been ratified by the two parties. The first session of the joint implementation committee of the VPA took place on 6 March 2012 and the second session was held on 17 and 19 July 2012. The key next stages for Cameroon are the updating and the implementation of a priority action plan and the completion of the texts that enforce the Agreement. The first Forest Law Enforcement Governance and Trade (FLEGT) licences are expected to be issued in early 2013. Given the delays in implementation of the VPA, a priority action plan has been adopted by the Cameroonian and European parties as the result of an evaluation mission by the European Forest Institute.
According to the priority action plan, implementation of the VPA has continued in the following:
- traceability system: tests were carried out in the field but concerns remained regarding the adaptation of the systems to problems of difficult internet access;
- review of the law: this was under way, with the first draft Bill prepared by MINFOF for consultation on possible amendments;
- a system auditor, Egis Bdpa, has been recruited with a mandate of two years;
- legality grids: during the joint committee meeting in July 2012 the review process of the legality grids was reoriented towards the addition of non-existent grids, a prerequisite being the development of legislation on the sale of timber and on community and communal forests; changes to the grids will now take place after the adoption of the new Forest Law;
- access to information and the fight against corruption: the Ministry envisaged organising two workshops to bring together all of the stakeholders to determine the best means and channels for the dissemination of public information. Strengthening transparency and access to public information remains a challenge.
|Title||Agreement between the European Union and the Republic of Cameroon on forestry law enforcement, governance and commercial exchanges of timber and by-products with the European Union (FLEGT)|
|Date||10 October 2010 (signature) and July 2011 (ratification by Cameroon)|