The EU FLEGT Independent Market Monitor (IMM) project has launched its website and published the first edition of its quarterly newsletter (www.flegtimm.eu/index.php/newsletter).
Funded by the EU and managed by the International Tropical Timber Organisation, the role of the IMM is to monitor trade flows from EU FLEGT Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPAs) supplier countries to the EU. It also gauges EU trade impacts and opinion of VPAs and FLEGT licensed timber.
Last year the IMM expanded its market research programme to cover seven key EU countries, which account for around 90% of EU tropical timber imports from the 15 supplier countries engaged with the EU FLEGT VPA initiative. It ran online surveys and also interviewed timber businesses, federations, government agencies, NGOs and other stakeholders. Its survey work also currently covers VPA partner countries Indonesia, the first country to start FLEGT licensing, and Ghana.
This work runs alongside analysis of trade flow statistics and other timber trade related data, most recently presented in the IMM report "FLEGT VPA Partners in EU Timber Trade 2014 to 2016".
The first edition of the IMM Newsletter includes findings from its EU market scoping research and surveys of Ghana and Indonesia. It also covers analysis of EU-Indonesia timber trade since the start of FLEGT licensing, the operation of Indonesia’s licence systems, reports on licensing teething troubles and EU economic trends. There are overviews on the progress made by the other supplier countries in their VPAs, with an in-depth report on Vietnam from VPA Joint Implementation Coordinator Edwin Shanks .
Also included are an article from the EU FLEGT facility on the social, environmental and economic benefits of FLEGT-licensed timber, and interviews with Dr Rufi’ie of the Indonesian Ministry of Environment and Forestry and Mike Worrell, Head of Sustainability at the UK Timber Trade Federation (also available on the TTF Blog here).
“The IMM website and newsletter will be developed further in 2018, providing constantly updated data on EU timber trade and market trends, as well as details of IMM research and activities,” said IMM Lead Consultant Sarah Storck.