A lot of activities have been going on behind the scenes in recent months. We started the New Year with an oversubscribed training workshop in London and in February we also ran a training session with Wood-NI in Northern Ireland followed by another London workshop. We visited Ecobuild and continue to support WWF’s campaign to encourage Local Authorities to implement timber procurement policies.
An assessment of the impacts of the UK Government’s timber procurement policy commissioned by Defra was presented by Efeca at January’s 17th Illegal Logging Update and Stakeholder Consultation at Chatham House in London. The report is available for download here. The study concludes that there has been positive change in the behaviour of the private and public sector, but also that the application of the policy across mandated bodies could be improved to ensure full compliance.
The study also found that there has been a rapid growth in the use of certification & verification labels and that there is a preference for certification labels by implementers, in particular contractors to the Government. We know PEFC and FSC certification schemes are very important tools to ensure policy implementation and the CPET 2010 review of the schemes which was published in January showed that the schemes continue to deliver compliance with the policy.
The Impact Assessment also pointed out, with the strong reliance on certification, small non-industry family owned forests and forests in the tropics are facing challenges to supply alternative, category B evidence. The UK Timber Trade Federation hosted a seminar at the end of January to discuss cases of alternative evidence, category B. The seminar explored various possibilities and obstacles to ensuring full traceability of the wood through the supply chain and confirmation that the Government’s legality and sustainability requirements are met at the forest source.
The acceptance of FLEGT licensed timber is to compliment certification in the tropics as discussed in the briefing note on ‘FLEGT licensed timber and EU member state procurement policies’. To help the small family non-industry forest owners, CPET has supported development of the Forestry Commission’s Operation Note 22 which links the English Woodland Grant Scheme to ensuring sustainability via category B. Read more here.
The Impact Assessment found that the UK Government and CPET are seen as leaders in Europe, working closely with the Danish, Dutch and French Governments, sharing lessons and facilitating dialogue. The majority of this work has, in recent years, been provided through an Ad Hoc Working Group and the report from the working group has now been published. We have also updated the CPET section on National Policies.
Earlier this month CPET’s manager Sofie Tind Nielsen was invited to participate in a meeting hosted by MEP Heide Rühle at the EU Parliament. The meeting was arranged to frame legal issues related to ensuring that public procurement can be used to pursue horizontal social and environmental objectives in the context of the upcoming review of EU Procurement Directive. CPET shared the experience and practicalities with the implementation of the UK timber procurement policy specifically the inclusion of social criteria. Further information on the Consultation on the modernisation of EU public procurement policy is available here.
A section has been added to the website to provide an overview of the available legality verification systems and what and how they deliver compliance with the public procurement policies and the EU Timber Regulation. It also demonstrates how they link to the FLEGT VPA process and NGO initiatives to support legality verification. Find the new section here.
CPET is also, in the Impact Assessment, recognised as playing a key role in the implementation of the policy through the services we provide and the team would like to thank everyone who contributed to the study for your feedback. Your support and help in ensuring implementation and compliance with the UK Government’s timber procurement policy continues to be greatly appreciated.