ECCAS: Annex VII to the VPA on contents of information to be made public: Progress status of implementation process

 

With a view to merging ideas relating to implementation of the process of making information public under Annex VII of the VPA, a sub-regional brainstorming workshop on implementation of the Annex to the VPA on information to be made public was held from 15 to 16 May 2014.

 

Jointly organized by CEEAC and COMIFAC with the technical support of CED and financial assistance of the European Union through the ECOFAC V Programme, the workshop aimed to enable VPA signatory countries and those in ongoing negotiations, to share their experiences on ways of collecting, processing, verifying, validating or authenticating, publishing and disseminating as well as updating information made public in line with the VPA/FLEGT. The workshop was attended by close to fifty participants from stakeholder groups directly engaged in negotiations (Gabon and DRC) and VPA-FLEGT implementation ( Cameroon, Congo, CAR), which included : FLEGT focal points from various countries, representatives of other government agencies involved ( environment, labor, finance or customs), civil society, the private sector and representatives of local and  indigenous communities.

 

The workshop unraveled around presentations conducted in 3 three thematic sessions, namely : The issue of transparency/access to information within the framework of VPA/FLEGT, Progress status of implementation of annexes on information made public, other opportunities to foster access to information in the forestry sector.

 

 The break-out groups which were the highlight of the meeting allowed participants to develop policy guidelines for the operationalization of Annex VII in each country. The feedback session held after the group work elicited enthusiastic contributions from the participants and recommendations addressed to the ECCAS member countries and partners.

 

  As the workshop came to a close, there was marked satisfaction on the part of the organizers and participants with the meeting which had enhanced understanding of the matter of access to information within the framework of VPA-FLEGT as well as the attendant challenges and stakes. Furthermore, the participants explored opportunities to boost access to information and harmonize approaches to the implementation of this annex.

 

For more information on the conduct of the workshop, please consult Gildas Parfait DIAMONEKA, Communications Expert /Marketing - For the ECOFAC V Programme gildas_parfait@yahoo.fr  or Winnie KITIO T., RECEIAC Focal Point Cameroon  winnie.kitio@gmail.com

 

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