|Resource Extraction Monitoring
Investigating law enforcement in the field to spark governance reform
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Strengthening forest law enforcement and governance through independent monitoring
Illegal logging is usually defined as logging in violation of national
laws. Although it has mainly been associated with environmental concerns
in the past, the large sums of money involved and significant State revenue
losses are now widely known and acknowledged as serious problems.
1. By conducting field investigations, often in collaboration with forest authorities and/or civil society, to collect reliable data on logging illegalities and governance strengths and weaknesses
2. Establish a platform allowing the government, donors, and civil society to review field investigation results and identify specific actions to take
By engaging the government in the process of reform using credible field
data, a transparent and productive relationship between actors is established
paving the way for real reform. For more information on REM’s approach
to independent monitoring click
Engaging national civil society in IM-FLEG
To address these and other unknowns, REM is working with Forests Monitor in the Republic of Congo to implement the first-ever programme that aims to establish national civil society as a leader in IM-FLEG. This programme has two main phases:
1. Phase 1 (2007-2009): developing technical capacity via a civil society shadow team training program; developing institutional capacity by creating a new NGO composed of shadow team members that specialises in IM-FLEG
2. Phase 2 (2009 – 2011): transition period where the IM NGO gradually takes on a leading role in more IM-FLEG activities, including full implementation of investigatory field missions and working with senior authorities and international donors to establish a plan of action to improve governance
For more details, please see Projects.
A note on IM-FLEG & FLEGT
IM-FLEG should not be confused with FLEGT (T is for a trade) which is an initiative launched in 2003 by the European Union that aims to employ market incentives to combat illegal logging. It is based on a legality licensing system – only legally sourced timber and timber products will be allowed to enter the EU market as stipulated in the Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) between the EU and the timber producing country.
IM-FLEG will help ensure that government commitments made through VPAs translate into real action in the detection and suppression of illegal logging, recovery of taxes and effective sanction of companies or individuals breaching national legislation. IM-FLEG can provide FLEGT auditors with accurate field data to cross check claims by government and private sector sources. An IM-FLEG online database, currently being developed by REM will allow auditors and other stakeholders to easily compile and analyse field investigation data. The Republic of Congo, where REM has been implementing an IM-FLEG project since 2007, recently signed a VPA with the EU in May 2009. We are currently developing an extension to the IM-FLEG project that will be the first example of how IM-FLEG can contribute to FLEGT. Our current IM-FLEG project already verifies 28 out of the 67 FLEGT legality indicators and aims to expand to an additional 23 in the next phase.
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