The EU proposed to include “credible voluntary forest certification that promote the sustainable management of forests, and that effectively slow, halt and reverse deforestation and forest degradation and promote the sustainable use and management of forests as well as their conservation and restoration”, together with “public procurement programmes”, to be included in the Framework of Actions Heads of States and Government, which other government leaders are expected to adopt in Rio, 20-22 June.

The EU also introduced the need for “sustainable public procurement” as key tool for promoting green and social economic activities, and it proposed a “capacity development scheme that will provide country-specific advice on legal, economic and other instruments and policies and, where appropriate, region and sector-specific advice to all interested countries and to assist them in accessing available funds”.

According to the EU proposal, this voluntary, demand-driven scheme will receive input from the UN system, international financial institutions, bilateral and multilateral donors and the private sector.

FSC is optimistic that this scheme will provide a great boost to sustainable public procurement in general, and for forest products in particular.

Where governments are concerned that such public procurement practices can cause problems for local producers, who will have to adopt to sustainable production requirements, such a capacity development scheme could be a perfect tool to exchange experience as well as transition practices for producers.

FSC calls upon stakeholders and other member states of the UN to support these EU proposals.

Further information: John Hontelez, Chief Advocacy Officer FSC