Countries that implement the VPA: six countries have concluded the VPA negotiations and are implementing their agreements with the EU: Cameroon, Central African Republic, Ghana, Liberia, Indonesia, Republic of Congo Although no country has yet begun licensing FLEGT, two countries – Ghana and Indonesia – are close to this goal.   A voluntary partnership agreement is a bilateral softwood lumber agreement between the European Union and a timber exporting country outside the EU. VPAs are a key element of the EU`s FLEGT action plan, which aims to investigate illegal logging. VPAs are voluntary for timber-exporting countries. However, once a VPA has come into force, it is legally binding on both parties. Each VPA is a bilateral trade agreement negotiated between the EU and a timber exporting country outside the EU. While the parties voluntarily enter into a VPA, the agreement will become legally binding once both parties have ratified it. Second, unlike most other trade agreements, the two sides negotiate on the same objectives: the elimination of illegal timber and improved forest management. Firstly, while the EU and a national government are negotiating a VPA, the content of the agreement is decided in the partner country through an advisory process involving stakeholders from government, the private sector and civil society. This means, for example, that national stakeholders decide how legal timber should be defined in accordance with the law of that country.
This platform was created in cooperation with the FAO-EU FLEGT programme as part of the European Union-funded Multifunctional Landscape Management Project in Sub-Saharan Africa: Managing The Trade-Offs Between Social and Environmental Impacts (LMR). This space serves as a platform for the exchange of knowledge in the EU`s political, political, political and trade action plan (FLEGT), with an emphasis on the impact of voluntary partnership agreements in partner countries. A VPA is a legally binding trade agreement between the European Union and timber-producing countries. The aim is to ensure that all wood products imported into the EU come from legal sources, that illegal logging is halted and that the governance of the forest sector is improved. Below is a collaborative office report on existing scientific literature and reports on the impact of PA processes and implementations in Indonesia, Cameroon and Ghana.