Date and Time: Thursday 5th December 2013 ~~~ 11:00 – 12:30
Location: Frangipani Room
Theme: Environment and Natural Resources


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Session Objectives

On the 30th September 2013 a major milestone was reached when Indonesia signed a timber trade agreement with the European Union known as the Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA). When fully operational this agreement means that all licensed Indonesian timber exports will be considered legal in the European Union under its new Timber Regulation known as the EUTR.

This has been a time consuming and complex process but the Indonesian government and industry lent its weight to the scheme as a means of maintaining and increasing access to sensitive high-value timber markets including the EU, USA and Australia. Progress on the ground has been impressive; the timber audit scheme already covers over 25% of national log production and 700 factories, making it the biggest scheme in the world so far. Uniquely, and to increase credibility, the scheme involves independent auditing and civil society oversight. Early indications suggest that Indonesia’s hard work is paying off and restoring EU buyer confidence in Indonesia’s forest products.


The session consists of 5 short presentations by a panel made up of some of the key players in the Voluntary Partnership Agreement. The panel will take stock of the progress so far and address the following questions:
• Is this new confidence in Indonesia’s forest industry justified?
• Will these measures increase Indonesia’s competitiveness in other markets?
• What have been the key success factors and major lessons?
• Has it been worth it?
• Who are the winners and losers?
• What bottlenecks remain?
• Will it be enough to stop illegal logging?
• Can such an approach work for other commodities such as palm oil and rubber?

This panel will have a standard format comprising a moderator, 5 presentations (10 minutes each) and 30 mins Q&A.