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The Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) process in Central and West Africa - from theory to practice

The year 2013 marked the tenth anniversary of the adoption of the Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) Action Plan, so it seemed timely to reflect on the aspects that had worked well over the past ten years – and those that had worked less well – to draw the main lessons. The FAO FLEGT Programme thus started to analyze the experience of the FLEGT Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) process. The study "The Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) process in Central and West Africa - from theory to practice" is intended to document and foster strategic reflection in partner countries already engaged in negotiating a VPA – or those who will be entering into such negotiations – by providing examples of “good practices” identified largely with stakeholders from eight countries in Central and West Africa, where the first VPAs were negotiated and signed.

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Julia Hedtjarn Swaling
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21 March 2014

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