Chinese forest delegation study tour to West and Central Africa, 24 April–10 May 2008
At the EU–China FLEG conference in September 2007, the two parties agreed to a number of actions: both would make a high political commitment to fighting illegal logging; they would establish mechanisms to tackle illegal practices and verify legality; and they would exchange information on trade, certification and other relevant issues. At a follow-up meeting between the European Commissioner for the Environment and the director of China’s State Forestry Administration (SFA) in April 2008, both sides agreed to establish a coordination mechanism for FLEGT issues, and to cooperate further on forestry issues in Africa, especially in the Congo Basin countries.
It was against this background that SFA welcomed and supported a study tour to West and Central Africa hosted by IUCN. Between 24 April and 10 May 2008, eight Chinese forest sector representatives toured the countries of Ghana, Gabon and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). This learning exchange was supported by the IUCN project Building Multi-stakeholder Coalitions in Central and West Africa and China for the Negotiation and Implementation of Nationally Defined and Innovative Actions in Support of Forest Law Enforcement Governance and Trade (FLEGT) / Voluntary Partnership Agreements (VPAs).