Enforcement and Governance for Sustainable Forest Management (CiSoPFLEG)

The EU’s Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) Action Plan supports partner countries to improve the governance of their forests. A Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) between partners and the EU guides implementation of the FLEGT process.

The CiSoPFLEG project is a 3-year project that supports the EU FLEGT VPA process in four countries across West and Central Africa. Details of the project can be found below, with links to annual project updates. We will continue to share resources related to FLEGT on this page.

CiSoPFLEG Project Documents

Forêts et Développement Rural (FODER) in Cameroon has produced several very informative documents including:


The CiSoPFLEG project has produced a Media Toolkit to encourage media coverage of forest topics. Issues covered include forest governance, illegal forest activities, forest sector policies in Ghana, and community problems relating to forest management. There have also been awards for media to reward them on reporting forest and environmental issues.


One of the CiSoPFLEG project’s activities for sharing lessons and experiences on FLEGT negotiation and implementation has been field visits to partner project countries. The report of the Ghana field visit is available here: FLEGT field report…


We have an update of the cisopfleg forest project for yr 3 giving an overall picture of the project’s achievements. Forest governance is improving with FLEGT implementation, and civil society participation in forest governance has been strengthened.


We have an update of some of our second year activities in Ghana towards the Enforcement and Governance for Sustainable Forest Management project (CiSoPFLEG) during 2015. Read more…


We have an update for the first year of our EU-funded CiSoPFLEG project, giving you some of the positive results from this project so far. You can read about them here and also read about the project’s activities and expected outcomes for the three years below.

Friends of the Earth-Ghana together with other members of Ghana’s  National Forest Forum prepared and presented a communique to the then Minister of Land and Natural Resources, Hon. Nii Osah Mills. The Communique outlined the challenges in Ghana’s forest sector and asked the Ministry together with the Forestry Commission to take urgent proactive steps to address these challenges.

FLEGT resources and websites

The FLEGT newsletter, to which FoE-Ghana has contributed, gives updates on forest and FLEGT issues in Ghana:

The website of the EU FLEGT Facility gives information about progress on FLEGT implementation in FLEGT VPA partner countries. This page gives detailed information of Ghana’s FLEGT VPA, the first to be agreed with the EU. The site also gives detailed information about all the VPA projects around the world, which you can find easily using the map of FLEGT VPA projects.

FoE-Ghana’s project to establish a monitoring system for FLEGT VPA progress towards good forest governance is outlined here and the project report, which includes the baseline and indicators for future VPA impact monitoring, can be downloaded here. Other studies to produce baselines and indicators for measuring forest governance and progress on FLEGT VPA include: a FLEGT baseline study in Myanmar by Forest Trends; a proposed indicator framework for VPA impact monitoring; the World Resources Institute’s Assessing Forest Governance indicator framework; and PROFOR’s Framework for Assessing and Monitoring Forest Governance, a user’s guide to a diagnostic tool for Assessing and Monitoring Forest Governance and Assessing Forest Governance: a practical guide to data collection, analysis and use.

Ghana’s Forestry Commission has a Briefing Note of Ghana’s agreement with the EU, and other useful briefing and discussion papers.  The environment page of the EU website gives up-to-date news of FLEGT activities around the world. The NGO FERN also has useful information and has produced an excellent practical guide on ‘Making Forestry Fairer‘, designed as an easy-to-read guide on how groups can use FLEGT VPAs to bring about sustained changes that ensure forest policies and management better account for the needs, aspirations and rights of people living in and around the forests.

The UN Food and Agriculture Organisation has a lot of information, technical modules and tools to support sustainable forest management and good forest governance, including on FLEGT VPA such as guidance for developing legality definitions on FLEGT VPAs and many others.

The South American FLEGT project ‘Supporting the implementation of the EU FLEGT Action Plan in South America: Catalyzing initiatives to control and verify the origin of timber in trade and support related improvements in forest governance’ has produced the website The project is being implemented in Peru, Colombia, Ecuador and Brazil and, besides the project, the website also incudes information about many other related forest issues in South America.

CiSoPFLEG Project Description

The EU’s Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) Action Plan supports partner countries to improve the governance of their forests. A Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) between partners and the EU guides implementation of the FLEGT process. Both Ghana and Cameroon have signed VPAs and are now
developing systems to control, verify and license legal timber in the two countries. The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Côte d’Ivoire are now at the negotiating stage.

To support and strengthen the VPA process in DRC and Cote d’Ivoire, a 3-year EU funded project entitled ‘Enforcement and Governance for Sustainable Forest Management’ (CiSoPFLEG) is sharing experiences of VPA implementation from Ghana and Cameroon. The project is being implemented by FoE-Ghana in partnership with Forêts et Développement Rural (FODER) in Cameroon, Reseau Ressources Naturelles (RRN) in DRC, SOS Forests in Côte d’Ivoire, the University of Copenhagen in Denmark and the International Centre for Enterprise and Sustainable Development (ICED) in Ghana.

Goal and Expected Outputs

The long term goal of the project is to improve forest governance towards sustainable forest management in West and Central Africa through collaboration between Ghana, Cameroon, DRC and Côte d’Ivoire. The medium term expected outputs are:

  • CSOs, domestic timber producer groups and traders, media houses and private timber companies are engaged in national VPA negotiation and implementation
  • Learning dialogue platforms for discussing forest governance and sharing information and experiences are in place and supporting VPA processes
  • Improved awareness and transparency in forest governance
  • Visibility of and demand for FLEGT-licenced timber has increased.

Target Groups and beneficiaries

The target groups and beneficiaries include private timber companies, local communities, timber traders, media houses, NGOs, CBOs, and state institutions.

Benefits include:

  • Improved competitiveness, production, trade and demand of legally produced timber
  • Civil society-led independent monitoring forest operations and forest governance
  • Improved control and verification of supply chains
  • Increased capacity to confront illegal forest activities
  • Civil society participation in VPA negotiation and implementation
  • Improved media reporting on forest governance and management
  • Increased civil society participation in forest policy and law reform
  • Information about procurement policies on legally verified timber for the domestic market.

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