The process which resulted in the ministerial conference was initiated in 1998 when G8 countries agreed to share information on international trade in illegally traded timber, improve economic information and transparency, assess internal trade measures to control illegal logging and trade, counter bribery and corruption, and develop capacities to assess the problem and implement counter measures. As a result of the G8ï¿½s actions, a partnership between several Asian states, the World Bank, UK and US was created leading to the first forest law enforcement and governance ministerial conference in Bali in 2001, which focused on East Asia.
Interest in the process from African states led to the initiation of the AFLEG through sponsorship from the World Bank, France, the US and UK.
Participants at the Africa ministerial conference will exchange views and ideas on forest governance, identify ways for stakeholders to address the issues, and negotiate a declaration and/or action plan. The objective of the declaration and/or action plan will be to confirm governmental and other stakeholdersï¿½ will and commitment to address illegal activities in the forest sector and issues of associated trade, confirm the need for shared responsibility and cooperation between stakeholders to address these issues, and plan a programme of action to move these intentions forward.
In June 2002, a pre-ministerial meeting was held in the Republic of Congo to initiate the sharing of knowledge and experiences, identify priority issues, prepare for the ministerial meeting, and develop recommendations. Draft elements for a ministerial declaration in the areas of information and legislative reform, law enforcement and armed conflict, capacity building, and potential associate measures and actions were elaborated at that meeting and are being forwarded to the ministerial conference for consideration.
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