Evaluation of the FLEGT/VPA Legality Assurance Scheme
The VPAs are bilateral agreements between producing countries and the EU that sets out the commitments and actions of both parties to tackle illegal logging. In 2009, Ghana signed a VPA with the EU and committed to developing the relevant systems including the development and operationalisation of Ghana timber Legality Assurance System (GHLAS). In 2014 and 2019, Proforest was jointly commissioned by the European Forest Institute and the Ghana Forestry Commission to conduct an independent technical evaluation of the GhLAS to ensure that it was operating according to the specifications described in the VPA. The evaluation comprised review of definition of legality, control of the supply chain, verification, licensing and third-party monitor over three phases (preparatory and initial evaluation, primary evaluation and follow-up and closure). Each phase identified corrective actions aimed at ensuring that the results of the Joint Assessment support the FLEGT Licensing Scheme becoming fully operational.