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Responding to public concerns on the issue of illegal logging and deforestation, in 2003, the European Commission adopted the EU Action Plan for FLEGT. The key regions and countries targeted, which together contain nearly 60% of the world’s forest and supply a large proportion of internationally traded timber, are places familiar to LTS – Central Africa, Russia, Tropical South America and Southeast Asia.

As a company, LTS fully supports the ambitious goals of FLEGT to enable legitimate operators who are trying to manage forests sustainably to better compete with illegally produced timber, and to promote strengthened forest governance so that policies to conserve and sustainably manage forests become more effective.

LTS is at the cutting edge of supporting the development and implementation of Voluntary Partnership Agreements (VPA) and Legality Assurance Systems (LAS) that promote better enforcement of forest law and promote an inclusive approach involving civil society and the private sector. We work with the private sector to take a flexible and responsive approach to the client needs, while meeting market and regulatory requirements and ensuring that the outcome is also incorporated as a core element to the business practices moving forward.


Our practical work on FLEGT implementation is best demonstrated by our ability to deliver a range of services:

  • Institutional capacity – we improve the capabilities of key institutions delivering on the VPAs (e.g. VPA secretariats, FLEGT negotiators, LAS implementers, customs officials, procurement agents) through provision of relevant information, international policy and technical assistance.
  • Audit of chain of custody systems (COCS) – we assess the efficiency of current COCS and identification of opportunities for streamlining and identification of upgrading needs of the COCS to meet the VPA requirements based on what is defined in the VPA.
  • Timber traceability systems – we support and evaluate timber traceability systems from developing standards and codes of conduct. We also design and install software systems, piloting and rolling-out at a national scale robust national log tracking systems which meet LAS requirements.
  • Policy and procedures development – we have drafted a range of government policy and procedures for lead forestry agencies on LAS business processes in a particular country including verification, field inspections, legality compliance, regulatory control and sanctions.
  • Industry analysis – we conduct sector and market analysis to help our clients design business strategies that meet customer requirements to match the evolving FLEGT timber and due diligence trends.
  • Integrated supply chains – we can advise on the integration of agricultural sourced timber products in the LAS. This includes reviewing of timber production (e.g. rubberwood) on agricultural lands, discussions with agricultural concession holders and outlining of the necessary legality controls in cooperation with government counterparts.
  • Impact assessments of procurement policies – we assess the impacts of the UK Government’s timber procurement policy with a focus on the impact on trade and on sustainable forest management.
  • Capacity building to suppliers – we deliver training courses on new regulatory requirements, undertaking gap assessment visits to factories, and assistance for paper and board suppliers to gain the knowledge and skills needed.
  • Forest certification – we develop policy, evaluation practices, and certification services, including field inspection and review of documentation.
  • Technical due diligence – we can provide a technical appraisal of a proposed business development in order to satisfy prospective investors that: the proposition is sound; raw material supply is sustainable and customer requirements can be met; the product mix is appropriate to markets and can capture maximum value; and the management team has the necessary technical knowledge.
  • Concession systems and contract management – we offer public sector guidance in the process and procedures for awarding forest contracts, whether by auction, negotiation or other means; and guidance on the administration of forest contracts, monitoring, supervision, inspection and enforcement of contracts.
Evaluation of the Congo Basin Forest Fund
Last Updated: November 29th, 2016

The Congo Basin Forest Fund (CBFF) is a ten year programme, which was established in 2008 and is set to finish in 2018. However, two of the key funders have stopped funding the CBFF, thus providing the impetus for an independent evaluation.

LTS International Limited (LTS) has been contracted to provide a near terminal evaluation of the CBFF. The ToR calls for background papers on the performance of the portfolio of CBFF projects (the Portfolio Performance Review; PPR) and the performance of the CBFF programme governance and implementation (the Organisation and Management Performance Review; OMPR) and a primary data collection and analysis component of the evaluation (the Case Studies Report). The findings from these background papers will provide the basis for the Draft and Final Evaluation Reports, which will inform decision making at the executive level (the donors, CBFF Governing Council; GC, AfDB Board, etc.) and to ensure accountability and lesson learning at the project level (for the CBFF Secretariat / OSAN) and implementing partners/project grantees).

Image credits to MONUSCO

Bamboo Sector Competitiveness Study – Agronomy Overview
Last Updated: July 13th, 2015

LTS is provided Bamboo agronomy consultancy services to DFID’s Business Innovation Facility (BIF) in Myanmar to complete a Bamboo Sector Competitiveness Study (2015). Myanmar has the third largest stock of bamboo in the world but the resource value is largely underestimated due to the lack of awareness of its potential as a processed commodity for export and the priority given by the Government, and investors, to exploit natural resources (e.g.: teak, oil and gas), or to develop industrial plantations such as rubber and palm oil involving the acquisition (through concession) and clearance of land. The study analysed Myanmar’s competitive advantage on the international market for high-value addition processed and manufactured bamboo and how different business models could contribute to poverty reduction and to what extent.

China-UK Collaboration on International Forest Investment & Trade (InFIT)
Last Updated: June 4th, 2014

The project aims to reduce the impacts of China’s international trade in timber products and other commodities grown on forest land whose production affects forest degradation. LTS operates the InFIT Project Management Office (PMO) in Beijing which is responsible for day-to-day operational coordination of activities under this three year programme (2014-2018) and is accountable for its effective and efficient implementation. The main outputs of the programme are:

  • Output 1 – Operationalization of the Chinese Timber Legality Verification System: “A timber legality verification system that meets the demands of China’s key trade partners is specified in detail, piloted with selected trade participants and recognized by relevant Chinese government departments”.
  • Output 2 – Facilitation of Guideline applications: “Voluntary guidelines for Chinese companies engaged in timber industries and production of forest-based commodities, including mechanisms for self-regulation and transparent reporting, are developed and further specified for application in key developing countries, piloted in those countries and refined as appropriate”.
  • Output 3 – Sharing Tenure Reform lessons: “Lessons from China’s forest tenure reform process, including supportive mechanisms to improve farmers’ livelihoods, are shared with stakeholders from developing countries where forest tenure reforms are being implemented”.
  • Output 4 – Capacity development and concerted action to promote timber legality: “Entities in China understand timber legality requirements in international and domestic markets and are capable of developing mechanisms that enable them to meet those requirements”.

Principal recipients of the LTS services are the Chinese State Forestry Administration (SFA) and the Ministry of Commerce (MofCoM), China Chamber of Commerce for Import & Export of Foodstuffs, Native Produce and Animal By-Products (CFNA) and China’s Chamber of Commerce of Metals, Minerals & Chemicals Importers & Exporters (CCCMC).

LTS is responsible for day-to-day operational coordination of activities under the project, facilitating stakeholder participation and is accountable for the effective and efficient implementation of these outputs. LTS is providing key-technical advice and direction to partners and collaborators involved in the implementation of the Forest Governance, Markets and Climates-China (FGMC-CN) programme. For example, LTS is coordinating the due diligence and comparative analysis reports of timber legality laws in producer and consumer markets to establish a China Timber Legal Verification System (CTLVs). A draft CTLVS administrative structure and implementation plan has been developed. Furthermore, LTS is overseeing the development of investment guidelines for Chinese companies engaged in timber industries and production of forest-based commodities. This includes mechanisms for self-regulation and transparent reporting and will be piloted in key countries. The China’s Chamber of Commerce of Import and Export of Foodstuff, Native Produce and Animal By-Products has drafted a Sustainable Overseas Investment and Managing Guide of Palm Oil for Chinese Enterprises. Whilst China’s Chamber of Commerce of Metals, Minerals & Chemicals Importers & Exporters has drafted a Sustainable Overseas Investment and Managing Guide of Rubber for Chinese Enterprises.

To see the May 2017 InFIT Newsletter, please click here (English) or here (Chinese).

Implementation of the Multi-Stakeholder Forestry Programme – Phase 3
Last Updated: April 25th, 2014

The Multi-Stakeholder Forestry Programme (MFP) aims to improve management of forests throughout Indonesia in order to reduce rural poverty, enhance biodiversity conservation, strengthen climate protection by significantly reducing emissions from land use, land-use change and forestry (LULUCF) practices.

A brochure on MFP is available here.

The programme facilitates partnerships between central and local government, civil society and the private sector in supporting relevant policy analysis and development, assisting Indonesia to implement its FLEGT Voluntary Partnership Agreement.

The main outcome of the 8.6 million pounds MSFP3 is a legal and technically effective community-based forest industry has been established to:

  • complement corporate industrial forest production,
  • reducing illegal logging (unplanned forest degradation) and unplanned deforestation
  • providing greater tenure security
  • improving rural livelihoods
  • protecting forest ecosystems and the environment
  • mitigating climate change

The programme outputs include:

  • Output 1: Industry-wide adoption of the SVLK timber legality assurance system in support of sustained exports to legality-regulated markets
  • Output 2: Support for local government and community rights-holders, accelerating the effective implementation of community-centred forest management, as prioritised in MoFor policy and legislation and the National Strategies for REDD+ and Food Production
  • Output 3: Implemented mechanisms for assuring access to forest and land resources by community groups and clarity of their tenure, allowing them to contribute to meeting industry demands national market and export targets for timber and non-timber forest products

LTS is the lead framework supplier to the DFID-funded Forest Governance Markets and Climate Programme, which provides the funding for MFP3 implementation. LTS is the lead contract holder for MFP3 support and collaborates with the Oxford Policy Management who delivers the project through its Jakarta office. Other key consortium partners include Efeca, IIED, SNV, HuMa and ICEL.

Services include:

  • Provision of a core management structure to coordinate programme activities, including direction, administration, financial control, and thematic and geographical technical facilitation
  • Management of sub-contracts related to training, external monitoring, consultancies, reviews and other specialist services required for delivery of the outputs
  • Development of dossiers for calls for proposals for grants to project partners; implementation of systems for evaluation of proposals; award of grants; and supervision of grant implementation
  • Coordination of systems needed for programme oversight, including facilitating and organising Steering Committee meetings and preparation and submission of annual and other reports
  • Secretariat support to the Ministry of Forestry and EU Delegation in Jakarta with regard to the efficient organisation and operation of the Joint Implementation Committee and related monitoring.

Image credit: Trekking Rinjani

Forest Governance, Markets and Climate Framework
Last Updated: November 29th, 2013

This framework contract (Forest Governance, Markets and Climate Framework, FGMC) involves a series of mini competitions for contracts between 25,000 and 25 million pounds that will contribute to a global effort that will help protect up to 39 million hectares of forest over the next 25 years and contribute to the greater sustainability of food production. By reducing deforestation and degradation the programme will contribute to efforts that avoid emissions of up to 33 billion MT CO2-e at the very low cost of under 2 pounds a carbon tonne.

Timber that is legally logged in accordance with national laws will increase forest taxes, providing up to 13 billion pounds of revenue to cash-strapped exchequers in developing countries. The programme will help protect the livelihoods of tens of millions of poor people dependent on forests for their livelihoods by reducing illegal logging. It will give them a greater say in what happens to their forests and reduce the likelihood of conflict over forest tenure. Clear and secure forest tenure can enable forest dependent communities to double their incomes. Similarly improved legislation, and monitoring of legal compliance with respect to other commodities, will lead to increases in incomes for 50 million farming men, women and children, and improved working conditions for 10 million plantation and ranching workers employed in the palm oil, soy, beef and leather sectors. With illegal logging and forest clearance reduced, livelihoods protected, and carbon emissions avoided the program will deliver a benefit-cost ratio of 52 pounds for every 1 pound invested in the intervention.

LTS is leading a consortium for 7 of the 8 lots of this Framework contract. LTS is providing a management team to the LTS-led consortia and quality control of all tenders submitted by the consortium.

The LTS Framework Manager is Rebecca Adler.

Supporting the Implementation of FLEGT Voluntary Partnership Agreement
Last Updated: October 8th, 2012

This assignment aimed to contribute to the implementation of the Liberia Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) with a specific focus on the legality assurance system (LAS) related measures in 2011-2012.

The key objectives were, in cooperation with the Liberian stakeholders, to make necessary preparations for establishing and operating two new Forestry Development Authority (FDA) units called i) Liberia Verification Department (LVD), that will be responsible for the legality verification functions and the Chain of Custody System (CoCS), and ii) Liberia Licensing Department (LLD), that will issue FLEGT licenses to the export consignments; draft procedures and plan data management systems of the LAS; assist in integrating in the LAS all timber products identified in the VPA Annex I and timber sources as identified in the VPA Annex II; and support the relevant regulatory reforms.

The outputs achieved consist of descriptions of institutional structures of FDA and various elements of the LAS, draft procedures for an operational LAS, terms of references, tender documents, cost estimates, work plans, workshops and administrative progress reports. LTS’ experts worked to ensure that there are a solid platform and state of preparedness for practical implementation of the LAS, in particular for an External Service Provider (ESP) that has been contracted on a Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT) basis to run the LVD on behalf of the FDA from 2013 onwards. It is expected that the LLD operations will be set up by (and within) the FDA with support of a technical advisor arranged through the ESP or another body. LTS also provided support for Liberian stakeholders to undertake the following activities:

  • Establishment of institutional structures for LAS implementation
  • Legality verification
  • Development of a chain of custody system
  • FLEGT Licensing
Central Point of Expertise on Timber Procurement
Last Updated: September 27th, 2012

The Central Point of Expertise (CPET) was established by Defra in 2005 to provide advice, support and communication on the UK Government’s Timber Procurement Policy (TPP), EU Timber and FLEGT Regulations. In light of developing a policy on sustainable procurement, Defra took steps to expand the CPET service to include palm oil and sustainable woodfuel. CPET provides detailed information on TPP and advice on how public sector buyers and their suppliers can meet these policy requirements in practice. Background information is available on how these practical solutions were developed, including the types of evidence that demonstrate legality and sustainability and the criteria for evaluating such evidence.

The LTS consortium has been contracted under a Framework Agreement for provision of services related to the UK’s Forest Governance, Markets and Climate (FGMC) Programme, effective from the 1st October 2012 with Efeca as Lead Partner. The contract seeks to support a variety of measures currently underway to address drivers of deforestation, by providing: (i) technical advice and support on the Government’s TPP; (ii) information and support on the EU Timber Regulations and FLEG; (iii) support on palm oil policy as it develops and (iv) support on sustainable wood fuel.

Growing concern about illegal logging and unsustainable forest management practices and the role of forests in climate change has driven international commitments and seen the evolution of international and national strategies for sustainable consumption and production and climate change mitigation. In addition to continuing to drive implementation of the TPP, the UK government is currently reviewing the feasibility of a procurement policy (similar to the TPP) to encourage the uptake of sustainable palm oil by the UK government and of inclusion of Sustainable Forest Management criteria under the Renewables Obligation and Renewables Heat Incentive; to promote market transformation within the UK. Furthermore, the EU Timber Regulation secondary legislation needs to be quickly and effectively communicated to stakeholders, in addition to FLEGT licenses awareness raising, as licensed timber becomes available.
The deliverables associated with this contract include: (i) develop and maintain an up-to-date web pages integral to the CPET website; (ii) assess how well the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) certification schemes provide assurance of compliance with the timber procurement policy; (iii) maintain and operate the CPET helpline and enquiry service for private sector buyers; (iv) hold yearly meetings of the CPET Reference Board (v) maintain and update existing CPET training workshop materials, (vi) draft and circulate news updates; (vii) advise DEFRA to support its work on influencing implementation of the TPP; (viii) update (annually) the estimates of UK sustainable palm oil consumption; (ix) provide technical advice to the Biomass & Biogas Sustainability Implementation Group; and (x) comment on draft proposals for specific criteria on sustainable forest management for biomass electricity and heat generation.

More information on CPET can be found on its website at http://www.cpet.org.uk/

Supporting the Implementation of FLEGT Voluntary Partnership Agreement
Last Updated: September 7th, 2012

The Government of Cameroon and the European Commission concluded negotiations of the Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) in May 2010 and the agreement was ratified in June 2011. LTS provided support to the implementation of the FLEGT VPA to build capacity of the Ministry of Forests and Wildlife (MINFOF) in the planning and monitoring the implementation of its Legality Assurance Systems (LAS). In 2012, the LTS team assisted the government of Cameroon to:

  • agree on responsibilities for different levels of LAS administration
  • support staff of the Department of Standards (SN) within the Ministry in project monitoring and tracking the implementation
  • assist the SN in the development of planning tools and monitoring the implementation of LAS
  • support the MINFOF with engaging stakeholders in the implementation of the verification system of law in the context of the VPA

LTS also reviewed and facilitated the development of verification procedures and trained LAS managers on the new VPA requirements.

Analysis of the Fiscal Regime for Forestry in Liberia
Last Updated: May 15th, 2011

Since 2006, the Government of Liberia has undertaken a comprehensive review of its forestry sector, aiming to achieve a world standard for transparency, good governance, equitable sharing of forestry benefits, respect for local communities and sustainable development. New forest use mechanisms have been introduced and companies were cleared in 2009 to operate under these arrangements.

The purpose of this evidence-based policy assignment was to offer advice on the appropriateness of the current fiscal framework for forestry, and determine what, if any, reforms would enable the sector to develop. The LTS economic and policy analysis had a particular focus on up-front payments of Land Rental Bid Premium and provided the Government with options and scenarios that to inform the President on the final decision on the Bill passed by the National Legislature. LTS undertook a benchmarking of Liberia’s fiscal regime against those of Ghana, Gabon, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo and Central African Republic and conducted scenario modelling to develop economic and financial models to evaluate Liberian forest projects and investments.

Timber Tracking System
Last Updated: May 15th, 2011

The timber tracking system is a component of the Voluntary Partnership Agreements developed by the European Union. It is set up to monitor harvested timber from origin (physical location of operations) to destination (port of export or processing plant) and also from destination to origin.

LTS was contracted by SGS Cameroon who implemented an EC funded project with the overall objective to study the needs and conditions for the implementation of the Timber Traceability System Cameroon (STBC) in its pilot phase.
Specific objectives were:

  • to review and validate standard operating procedures (SOP) system for the pilot phase with key project stakeholders;
  • to ensure and assure the compliance of systems and processes with the Cameroonian legal and regulatory framework as put into practice and prevailing for the pilot phase and, subsequently, in the context of SVL/LAS and FLEGT VPA;
  • to prepare for system tests at the pilot sites by performing an inventory on the ground in order to collect essential information and assess needs and conditions for the implementation of the pilot, including the acquisition of technical equipment for deployment and implementation of pilot activities to support requirements (training, communication, etc.);
  • to carry out field missions with teams of the MINFOF to the pilot sites for logging, processing plants, regional offices and departments and checkpoints;
  • to perform a gap analysis for the implementation of the tracking system
  • to facilitate the estimation of additional cost estimates and preparation of technical and financial proposals to insert the test of legality under the VPA SVL during the pilot phase
  • to ensure permanent liaison with the Department of Forests / MINFOF during the mission.

LTS provided the following services:

  • research and literature review;
  • review and validation of standard operating procedures (SOP) in collaboration with MINFOF, operators of the sector and other stakeholders;
  • study of the institutional MINFOF and its decentralized services [as far as possible not only in the pilot area];
  • study of forest control system [as far as possible not only in the pilot area];
    study of the stakeholders in the implementation of pilot system [as far as possible not only in the pilot area];
  • definition of legality tests to perform in accordance with the VPA SVL;
  • proposal to insert those tests during the pilot phase.

The outputs were:

  • a full mission report, including a list of documents collected as part of the mission, and contact list of people met
  • a report prepared in collaboration with MINFOF for field missions
  • the results of studies reviewed and validated by the SOPs
  • a financial proposal and timetable for implementing the tests of legality in the pilot area (submitted by the Consortium).
Service areas:
climate change