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 (eg VPA secretariats, FLEGT negotiators, LAS implementers, customs officials, procurement agents) through proivision 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 alsodesign 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 dligence 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.