Legal and institutional frameworks

FLEGT and REDD+ initiatives both involve work to improve legal clarity, and to strengthen institutional frameworks and capacities to:

  • Increase stakeholder understanding and awareness of the legal frameworks and allow stakeholders to define legal and deforestation-free timber and agricultural commodity production according to the country’s laws, local priorities, risks and governance challenges
  • Ensure stakeholder participation and enable them to understand their rights, responsibilities and obligations
  • Oversee and effectively manage the processes
  • Deal with technical challenges, such as legal reforms and monitoring
  • Overcome the limited capacity of government officials and community representatives
  • Pool resources for effective coordination and implementation

By communicating effectively the two initiatives can improve planning, build on each other's strengths and make more efficient use of resources to advance forest and land-use governance reforms.

 

Examples

Linking FLEGT and REDD+ at provincial level in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

The Democratic Republic of the Congo has provincial REDD+ focal points. The role of these focal points is to support their province's readiness for REDD+ activities, facilitate stakeholder participation and coordinate pilot activities.

The national REDD+ coordinating body and the technical commission on FLEGT have pooled resources to train the provincial focal points on both topics in an effort to ensure that the REDD+ and FLEGT processes support each other.

This training enables the provincial REDD+ focal points to communicate clearly about FLEGT, and facilitates information sharing and reforms at provincial level.

 

Clarifying legal frameworks in Indonesia

In Indonesia, VPA stakeholders clarified the legislative framework for legal timber, reviewing some 900 different laws, and suggesting reforms and simplification so it was clear what was legally required. The multi-stakeholder approach of the VPA process provided opportunities to identify imprecise and inconsistent legal requirements and/or institutional arrangements and to reach a consensus about how to address these concerns. This collective action triggered a major reform of the legal framework, increasing independent oversight of the entire forest sector by professional audit companies and civil society. 

In addition to improving legal clarity, stakeholders also used the VPA process as an opportunity to improve institutional clarity and clarify roles and responsibilities, thereby improving the accountability of public and private actors in the forest and land-use sector. 

Indonesia’s experiences with the VPA process and related governance reforms provide a sound basis for turning zero-deforestation commitments by private actors and a growing number of Indonesian provinces and districts into action, and enhance national standards of legal and sustainable production of forest-risk commodities.