New website helps smallholders in Southeast Asia navigate VPA negotiation process

Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam are beginning to engage in processes to negotiate Voluntary Partnership Agreements (VPAs) with the EU to eradicate illegal logging and promote trade in legal timber products. But the lack of information on how VPAs could affect informal small enterprises in the Mekong region has spurred the EU FLEGT Facility to launch a website for this purpose.

Funded by the Swedish International Development Agency (Sida), the web page and online forum addresses legal and economic concerns, and identifies how SMEs and smallholders can participate in the supply chains covered by national timber legality assurance systems. The website pays particular attention to the potential impacts on women and how SMEs and smallholders can be successful in the context of VPAs.

Stakeholders can use the new online forum to share their views and discuss issues among themselves and with the EU FLEGT Facility.