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.

European Union Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade Facility

LTS was involved in 5 frameworks agreements: Forest Governance; Capacity Building; Markets and Demand Side Measures; Legality Assurance Systems; and Monitoring Voluntary Partnerships Agreement (VPA) Impacts. The European Forest Institute’s EU Forest Law Enforcement Governance and Trade (FLEGT) Facility has been established to support the European Commission in implementing their Action Plan for FLEGT setting out a range of measures available to the European Union and its Member States to tackle illegal logging in the world’s forests.

Asia, Mid Term Review of Developing Land Snail Expertise in South and Southeast Asia, DEFRA

This assignment involved conducting a mid term review of a generally successful project breaking new ground in generating knowledge and building expertise in land snail study in South and South East Asia.The rationale and need for the project was identified to be clear – these neglected/ understudied creatures are being put under the spotlight and as a result new species are being discovered, new expertise built and a new appreciation of potential conservation benefits of snail study is being uncovered. The project had primarily a research focus on the taxonomy and distribution of species as the study of snails is in its infancy in these countries. This will provide the knowledge upon which biodiversity conservation and livelihoods strategies can be built and in a number of countries the broader link with conservation and livelihoods is being explored.

Training on Decentralised Forest Management Planning

LTS managed in conjunction with RECOFTC a tailor-made training course designed at developing awareness and skills necessary for strategic planning also provides a platform from which capacity building for decentralised management – identifying objectives, budgeting, monitoring and evaluation and improving good governance – could be practically implemented. Through a strategic planning process, different institutions can define and develop a shared understanding of their long-term vision on the basis of national and local needs, facilitate effective involvement of wider stakeholders in the creation and implementation of strategies towards achieving their goals, and improve accountability, both upwards to central government and downwards to the local constituency, through integrated monitoring activities.

Country Strategy Paper Review

LTS provided high-level governance support to the regional DFID field office in Thailand. The whole team assessed progress against the Logframe and progress against the priorities and expectations of the Government of Vietnam (GoV). Further, the level of uptake of innovative ideas and Lessons Learnt from DFID interventions within other donor funded programmes and GoV development planning provided insights to what extent DFID influenced the mind set at national level. Generic governance issues were captured through thematic case studies.

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.

Institutional Review of the Regional Community Forestry Training Centre for Asia and the Pacific

RECOFTC developed a strategic programme to establish its basic direction as an institution concerned with supporting community forestry in the Asia-Pacific region. To ensure this programme could be implemented effectively an assessment and realignment of the organisation structure was critical. LTS provided independent expert advice to facilitate a delicate process and ensure the institutional structure aligned with the programme objectives. Supporting an internal RECOFTC task force, an LTS organisational assessment specialist advised on RECOFTC’s new organisational structure and necessary changes.

Tree Plantation Project

Comparison of alternative industrial strategies to manufacture wood pulp and industrial fuels (methanol and charcoal) in an integrated plant and as two separate plants for fuel and fibre).  Also assessment of raw material supply and cost from natural forest and industrial plantations.