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2013 Assessment Findings
The assessment shows that the French government has continued to be engaged on the issue of illegal logging and the related trade. The government played an active part in the development of the EU Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) Action Plan and has been supporting the negotiation and implementation of voluntary partnership agreements (VPAs) in producer countries.
The government has also been actively promoting the production and consumption of sustainable timber, providing funding for forest-management related projects in producer countries and establishing the National Group on Tropical Forests to facilitate a multi-stakeholder dialogue on forest policy. Media coverage of illegal logging has increased considerably since 2007, indicating greater awareness of the issue among the general public.
This response, as well as increased sourcing of sustainably certified products by the private sector, is thought to have been a factor in the decline in imports into France of illegal wood-based products. The proportion of timber-sector imports at high risk of illegality is currently estimated to be two per cent. The proportion of highly processed products such as furniture has grown significantly, as has the share coming from China, with a parallel decline in imports of logs and sawn wood from central and west Africa.
2010 Assessment Findings
The 2010 assessment found that French imports of illegally-sourced wood had been declining steadily since 2001. By 2008, they had fallen 38%, at which time France had the lowest per capita and the lowest proportion of illegally-sourced wood in overall imports of any of the five consumer countries.
France scored less well than the Netherlands and the UK with regard to laws, regulations and policies for tackling the problem, and its wood procurement policy had had less of an impact than those of these two countries. However, it had been amongst the most actively engaged of the EU member states in helping negotiate voluntary partnership agreements with producer countries.
Regarding the private sector response, the number of companies with chain-of-custody certification was growing rapidly and large volumes of imports from central Africa were certified sustainable or verified legal. French industry association codes of conduct on the issue were also among the most rigorous in Europe.