Over the past two years, FAO and ITTO have assisted countries in the Amazon region, Central Africa, Central America and Southeast Asia in jointly addressing illegal logging and trade through a series of regional workshops. Based on the FAO/ITTO publication “Best Practices for Law Enforcement in the Forest Sector” and their own experiences, countries identified the main problems and impacts of illegal forestry activities in their regions; shared experiences on ongoing initiatives to improve forest law compliance and started a dialogue on possible ways to address illegality in the forest sector; identified the most promising elements of a strategy to improve forest law compliance; and strengthened regional networks on forest law enforcement.
The workshops were designed to foster more openness regarding the problems as well as showcasing possible approaches to improving forest law compliance at the country level based on current experiences. They encouraged countries that have been reluctant to make the improvement of forest law enforcement a priority issue to start taking actions. This regional workshop intends to contribute in a similar way to improving forest law compliance and governance in the countries of tropical West Africa.