ASEAN Regional Knowledge Network on Forest Law Enforcement and Governance (FLEG)
Forest Law Enforcement and Governance (FLEG), as one of the underlying principles of sustainable forest management (SFM) has been put high on the agenda of the ASEAN cooperation in forestry. The issuance of the ASEAN Ministerial Statement on FLEG in November 2007 reaffirmed ASEAN’s commitment to improve forest governance in the region.
ASEAN cooperation on strengthening FLEG received further boost through the issuance of the ASEAN Declaration on Environmental Sustainability by the 13th ASEAN Summit. Under this Declaration, ASEAN Member States are committed “to strengthening law enforcement, combating illegal logging and its associated illegal trade as necessary measures in addressing trans-boundary environmental pollution, including haze pollution”.
In realizing the above mentioned commitments, the Work Plan for Strengthening FLEG (2008 – 2015), was agreed by the 11th ASOF Meeting 31 July-1 August 2008, Kuala Lumpur and endorsed by the 30th AMAF Meeting, 23 October 2008, Hanoi. This Work Plan provides the basis for deepening cooperation and implementing joint actions, as well as identifying potential partners for collaboration and interactions in strengthening FLEG in ASEAN.
Based on the decisions of the Eleventh ASOF Meeting, the ASEAN Regional Knowledge Network on FLEG (ARKN-FLEG) is established, to encourage the use of regional knowledge networks. It is composed of FLEG experts from leading research institutions in ASEAN and among the ASOF as network members as well as resource persons. The ASEAN Secretariat plays a facilitating role.
The aim of the ARKN-FLEG is to broaden the ASEAN base of knowledge in forestry and support implementing the Work Plan for Strengthening Forest Law Enforcement and Governance (FLEG) in ASEAN (2008-2015). Its main purposes are to support the ASEAN Senior Officials on Forestry (ASOF) and the ASEAN Ministers on Agriculture and Forestry (AMAF) decision-making and implementation processes by providing specific policy-oriented and focused research and policy analysis; enhance policy implementation capacity by mobilizing resources and building partnerships to further strengthen FLEG implementation in ASEAN Member States; and provide effective networking and partnering with other institutions, agencies, instruments and processes working on FLEG issues at the regional and global levels.
Thus, providing policy briefs will be a major outcome of the network activities. Planned activities are, for example, (i) a comparative policy analysis on FLEG implementation in ASEAN, (ii) mainstreaming FLEG implementation into policy processes at the national level, including innovative solutions at the domestic and international interface, and (iii) FLEG implementation through national forest programmes (nfp).