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FLEGT and Poverty Alleviation: the Potential of VPAs preliminary findings “ commissioned by the European Forest Institute’s EU FLEGT Facility - funded.

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Presentation on theme: "FLEGT and Poverty Alleviation: the Potential of VPAs preliminary findings “ commissioned by the European Forest Institute’s EU FLEGT Facility - funded."— Presentation transcript:

1 FLEGT and Poverty Alleviation: the Potential of VPAs preliminary findings “ commissioned by the European Forest Institute’s EU FLEGT Facility - funded by the European Union, the Governments of Finland, France, Germany, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, and EFI.” Mary Hobley West Africa Forest Governance Forum 7-8 June Accra

2 The scope of the study Future focused – potential effects of VPAs on poverty Draws from wider poverty and forestry literatures Based on secondary analysis from Ghana, Cameroon and Republic of Congo – processes used for stakeholder engagement – actual content of VPAs Provides recommendations for building processes to improve/mitigate poverty effects


4 Context to poverty and forests Globally high number of people dependent on forests for part or all of their livelihoods Correlations between high poverty concentrations and forest areas Forests play three roles in poverty reduction: 1.Mitigate or avoid poverty (safety nets) 2.Low income gap fillers (limited other employment opportunities); and 3.Occasionally a pathway out of poverty Poverty reduction through forests - complicated, indirect, and socially and geographically different VPA effects similarly complicated

5 Direct and indirect effects Forest livelihood dependence – direct effects of change in access to forest products – timber, NTFPs, imposition of formal and informal payments Access to employment – daily, seasonal and long- term Changes in ecosystem services through changes in forest management/landuse Redistribution of forest revenues to poverty reducing programmes

6 Conditions for poverty-reduction Secure local property rights & ability to use rights as collateral Local decision-making power over use of forests (respects different social/economic needs for forests) Access and control over benefits and decision- making authority over allocation of benefits (financial and products) Financial, legal and policy support from state (including across land-uses – agriculture and other natural resource extractive industries)

7 Conditions for poverty-reduction Strong systems of monitoring and enforcement Fair access to justice and grievance mechanisms Capable civil society – engage, influence, check and hold to account policy-makers and decision-takers at all levels


9 How much have the VPAs achieved? Limited in their poverty effects to date A legally-binding trade agreement – starting point timber legality not poverty reduction Enforcement of timber legality often immediate negative effects on poor people’s livelihoods VPA focus on timber legality does not directly address other drivers of forest change – agriculture/mining, greater effects on poverty and livelihoods


11 Understanding poverty DAC/OECD (2001) multidimensional poverty - focusing on a range of capabilities – economic, human, political, socio-cultural and protective (reducing vulnerability) Three important elements for poverty reduction: 1.Secure access to livelihood assets 2.Human agency – capability to have a voice and influence decisions in appropriate forums 3.Changes to the rules of the game (laws, policies, decision-making processes) to support poor people’s livelihoods

12 VPA process – how it makes space for poverty reduction Rules of the game Negotiating space + form of representation Securing livelihood assets & services Building informed capable voice

13 Putting theory into practice Four elements for poverty reduction- a framework for understanding poverty impacts Basis for impact assessment system Basis for design of process and content to enhance poverty reduction effects or mitigatory actions Four elements provide basis for a social safeguards system


15 Building social safeguards Two roles: 1.Preventative – ensuring negative impact does not occur (through better understanding Article 17) 2.Reactive – mitigating actions when negative effects happen (monitoring Article 17) Two forms 1.Soft or process safeguards 2.Hard safeguards (legally enforceable ) Social safeguard system Need to build sufficient understanding prior to intervention to either prevent or react and to build both process and content safeguards

16 Necessary elements of a social safeguard system (Article 17) Prevention – ex-ante poverty impact assessment Mitigation – monitoring/feedback Consultation & information – multi-level stakeholder engagement Monitoring – outline of system in annex Grievance mechanisms –Joint Monitoring mechanism first step – may require ‘ombudsman’ type mechanism as intermediary


18 Element 1 Building understanding: Ex-ante PIA Monitoring Element 2 Building informed, accountable, representative voice Element 3 Changing the rules of the game Element 4 Securing livelihoods and reducing vulnerability PreparationNegotiation Full Implementation Transitional Implementation The VPA process

19 Ex-ante poverty impact assessment (PIA) to identify preventative measures Establish different stakeholder interests Deepen & broaden civil society representation Regulatory impact assessment – to identify areas affecting poor people’s livelihoods Strengthen stakeholder representation & capability (multi- level feedback mechanisms) Systematically review legislation (using ex-ante PIA) Identify alternative livelihoods – remove barriers to artisanal operations/market barriers Improve legal framework for revenue/tax regimes Build monitoring systems to track poverty effects Ensure civil society representation in legal reform discussions (particularly representation of poor people’s interests) Clarify forest/land tenure allocation processes Grievance mechanisms for forest dependent people Develop parallel programmes for : civil society capacity at multiple levels Improve revenue tracking and local decision-making for resource allocation, including accountability mechanisms Support small-scale business development Alternative livelihood programme where major domestic restructuring PreparationNegotiation Full Implementation Transitional Implementation

20 Conclusions Four key elements for enhanced poverty reduction in place in VPA Weak poverty understanding built into preparation processes so far Need for systematic attention to poverty effects from preparation to negotiation to implementation Monitoring systems based on ex-ante PIA and tracking change in four elements – livelihood assets, voice, rules of game, and provision of representative and effective fora for negotiation and accountability

21 Conclusions Parallel programmes for support to civil society, revenue tracking systems and focus on governance of forest rents, domestic market restructuring Limits to what VPA can achieve on poverty outcomes – can prevent and mitigate based on good use of knowledge FLEGT approaches to be extended across land- use systems – agriculture and other natural resource extractive industries

22 Our Challenge We have systems that can identify timber as ‘legal, responsible and even sustainable but no-one has yet developed systems to verify poverty-reducing forestry’ James Mayers IIED

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