Closing plenary: visions for future action against illegal logging


Moderated by Roberto Rodolfi, Director of the European Commission for Sustainable Growth and Development at DG for International Cooperation and Development, this plenary will help us explore different visions for the future of the EU FLEGT Action plan. Panellists from the public and private sector as well as civil society will look at the global context and discuss about the future of collective actions against illegal logging.


Who is in it?

Neven Mimica, European Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development

Neven Mimica serves as European Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development since 1 November 2014. During his career, Commissioner Mimica has held several public positions, having served as Minister-Counsellor at the Embassy of Croatia in Cairo (1993-1996) and Plenipotentiary Minister at the Embassy of the Croatia in Ankara (1996-1997). Mimica was also Deputy Minister for Economic Affairs (2000) and between 2000 and 2001 he acted as Chief negotiator on the Stabilisation and Association Agreement with the European Union. He served as Minister for European Integration (2001-2003) and after the general elections of 2003 he became the chairman of the European Integration Committee in the Croatian Parliament. He was re-elected to the Sabor (Croatian Parliament) in 2007 and between 2008 and 2011 he was the deputy speaker and chairman of the European Integration Committee.


Saskia Ozinga, FERN

Ozinga is the founder and campaign coordinator of FERN. She studied biology and healthcare at Wageningen University and the Hogeschool Utrecht. Since graduating, she has worked as a teacher of environmental science at the Hogeschool Utrecht and for nearly 10 years as a campaigner at Friends of the Earth Netherlands. While at FERN she has facilitated NGO coalitions on different topics related to forests and community rights, and written and published numerous books, articles and reports on themes such as forest certification, trade and forests, effective advocacy, improving forest governance and forests and climate. She has been a board member of various organisations, including Tropenbos International and the Alliance for Sustainable Development, and is currently a board member of the Forest Peoples Programme and The Forest Trust.

Ralph Ridder, ATIBT

Ridder joined the Association Technique Internationale des Bois Tropicaux (ATIBT) in 2011 as its Director General. Before joining ATIBT, Ralph worked at the European Forest Institute setting up and directing the EU FLEGT and the EU REDD Facilities on behalf of the European Commission. Previously Ralph worked for the World Bank, World Resources Institute, FAO and other institutions. Ralph holds a PhD in tropical forest monitoring and MSc in forestry, both from Ludwig Maximilian University Munich. He has more than 20 years' work experience in more than 40 countries in the field of inter-governmental process facilitation, policy analysis and governance reform.

Moderator: Roberto Ridolfi, European Commission

Ridolfi is Director of the European Commission for Sustainable Growth and Development at DG for International Cooperation and Development, EuropeAid. Twice Ambassador and Head of delegation to the European Union, Ridolfi was first in Suva where he served from 2005 to 2007. There he was in charge of all the relations of the European Union with 15 countries and territories as well as with the Pacific Forum. In 2010 he was appointed in Uganda by the High Representative for Foreign Policy of the EU where he served until September 2013. In between, during his duty as head of unit of EuropeAid, he managed programmes dealing with Environment, Food security, migration and asylum as well as the One-Billion-Euro Food Facility in 50 countries. Ridolfi joined the European Commission in 1994 and worked in several delegations, Malawi, Namibia and Kosovo, as development and economic advisor. Throughout Accession negotiations (2001-2004), he was the principal coordinator dealing with Environment and Transport in Public-Private-Partnerships (PPP). Ridolfi holds a MSc in Engineering, an MBA and a PhD in A. Technology

Agus Sarsito, Center for Forestry Standardisation and Environment

Sarsito has been involved in the development of the Indonesia Timber Legality Assurance System (SVLK) since 2003, and led the Indonesia-EU FLEGT-VPA negotiations as chief negotiator. He participates in all formal VPA implementation meetings between the two parties, in particular the Joint Implementation Committee meetings. As Director of the Center for Coordination of Forestry Development at the Ministry of Forestry, he was in charge of the development of Forest Management Units in the Sumatra Region from 2012 to 2014. Recently, Sarsito has been appointed Director of the Center for Forestry Standardisation and Environment.

Raphael Yeboah, Forestry Commission of Ghana

Yeboah is a practicing forester and a lawyer and the Executive Director of the Forest Services Division of the Forestry Commission of Ghana. Since 1985, he has worked with the Forestry Commission in various positions. As a policy and law expert, Yeboah was part of the team and a multi-stakeholder committee that negotiated the Voluntary Partnership Agreement. Since its ratification he has led the piloting and roll-out of Ghana's Legality Assurance System (GhLAS) from the forest operations side.

Matthias Schwoerer, Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture Germany

Schwoerer is working with the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture. He has been advisor for the German government on national, European and international forest policy for more than 25 years. Since 2002 he leads the European and International Forest Policy Division and is also responsible for the bilateral forest cooperation of that ministry, including with China and Russia. He has been engaged in UNFF and in the Forest Europe process since the very beginning. At national level he was leading the National Forest Program process (2000 – 2007). Schwoerer participated from the German side in the launch and early steps of the EU FLEGT Action Plan, followed other regional FLEG(T) processes and negotiated the EU FLEGT and the EU Timber Regulation. He supervises their national implementation as well as the national timber procurement policy

Congressman Earl Blumenauer, US Representative for Oregon's 3rd congressional district

Congressman Blumenauer, was elected to the US House of Representatives in 1996 and now serves as a senior member of the House Ways and Means Committee. Congressman Blumenauer led the bipartisan effort, supported by the timber industry, consumers, importers, labor unions, conservationists, and the Bush administration, to prohibit the import of illegally sourced timber. In 2008, Congressman Blumenauer authored the Legal Timber Protection Act, which expanded the scope of the Lacey Act to include wood and wood products. His 2008 Lacey Act amendments were recognized as a winner of the World Future Council's 2011 Future Policy Award. Since passage of the law, Congressman Blumenauer has been a leading voice in the US government advocating for full and effective implementation of the law. He was previously a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee from 2001 to 2007, and vice-chair of the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming from 2007 to 2010. 

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