Opinions on legality principles considered in the FLEGT/VPA policy in Ghana and Indonesia

K.F. Wiersum, B.H.M. Elands

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


The Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade programme (FLEGT) of the European Union aims at stimulating both legal timber production and good forest governance. The EU establishes Voluntary Partnership Agreements (VPAs) with individual tropical timber exporting countries; these VPAs should be developed through a stakeholder-inclusive governance process and define national standards for timber legality. The national policy level serves as an interface between the EU policy and the local realities of forest exploitation. This article assesses whether new assemblages of timber legality standards were developed at this interface. It presents the opinions of people actively engaged in the FLEGT/VPA process in Ghana (n = 38) and Indonesia (n = 40) about which principles regarding timber legality, law enforcement and social safeguards were considered during the VPA negotiations in each country. Almost half of the respondents (44%) were positive about the integrative focus of VPA discussions focusing on both forestry and livelihood issues, 40% considered it had mostly a limited focus or traditional timber sector focus, and 16% indicated a high degree of attention to social responsibility issues. There were differences in the characteristics of respondents and their opinions between Ghana and Indonesia; these reflect differences in organisation of the FLEGT/VPA process. The findings demonstrate how depending on country-specific policy processes principles from an international forest policy are adapted at national level; this may involve new assemblages of the original policy principles
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14-22
JournalForest Policy and Economics
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • voluntary partnership agreement
  • environmental governance
  • forest communities
  • poverty
  • livelihoods
  • enforcement
  • kalimantan
  • lessons
  • trade

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Opinions on legality principles considered in the FLEGT/VPA policy in Ghana and Indonesia'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this