Studies for Understanding Timber Flows and their Control

These two studies formed part of the work plan of the FLEGT Asia programme, the overall goal of which is the promotion of good forest governance, contributing to poverty eradication and sustainable management of natural resources in Asia. In the context of the Government of Lao PDR (GoL) and the Government of Thailand’s (GoT) preparations for VPA negotiations with the European Union (EU), these studies provided thorough understanding of the domestic and imported timber flows in each country, and their control through Government agencies. These informed the GoL, GoT and the EU about the tracking of timber flows in the countries and requirements on consultation, within the framework of FLEGT VPA. The studies were conducted in close cooperation with the Laos and Thai Governments, in particular the FLEGT Focal Points.

Our two teams were responsible for the following core tasks:

  • Desktop analysis of timber production and movements
  • Development of a generic model for each country that maps the principle timber supply chains
  • Description of documentation, field verification, licensing and control tasks of the government agencies
  • Identification of key points in the supply chains where timber from non-verified sources could enter
  • Field based analysis of example supply chains
  • Revision of generic supply chain models
  • Stakeholder workshops on FLEGT and stakeholder engagement in Laos
  • Presentation of preliminary findings at national workshops

Update, October 2012: The Timber Flows and their Control in Thailand report has now been published and is available for download here.

Evaluation of the Sustainability Dimension in Addressing Poverty Reduction

Poverty reduction was an overarching goal of the Finnish development cooperation strategy since 1993 through to the current Development Policy of 2007. The purpose of the evaluation was to identify concrete results and achievements in the Finnish development cooperation, with particular reference to the sustainable development approach. LTS undertook a desk study which was followed by field work in the following countries: Kenya, Mozambique, Tanzania, Zambia, Vietnam, Laos, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia.

The study investigated the poverty reduction outcomes that have taken place in relation to the application of the sustainability concept at a macro level in Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) partner countries; assessed the extent to which MFA interventions since 2000 have made a contribution to these changes through co-operation on forestry and biological resources; drew out lessons from past experiences and thinking, in particular looking for best practice, constraints and innovations; and consequently; identified how MFA interventions could achieve greater impact. The evaluation was guided by the OECD/DAC norms and quality standards for development evaluation.

Evaluation of Finnish Forestry Sector Development Cooperation

LTS fielded a team of 11 national and international consultants to evaluate Finnish forestry development assistance from 1990 to 2002. The aim was to focus on the programme as a whole using individual country programmes as sources of information. The target countries were Kenya, Namibia, Tanzania and the SADC Colleges programme in Africa: Laos, Nepal, Thailand and Vietnam in Asia and Mexico. Overall the findings were of high quality technical projects and good professional staff but a tendency to operate in isolation from wider issues. As a consequence, the wider impact was limited. There were several development policy changes applied by Finland during the period reviewed. The Team concluded that Finland has an important role to play in forestry development and a number of comparative advantages from its own history and its favourable political system. Nine recommendations were made to improve the focus and strategic delivery of forestry assistance within the current wider development framework.