The European Union (EU) contracted IOD PARC to support impact monitoring at the national level for the Voluntary Partnership Agreements (VPAs) between the EU and the VPA processes within Ghana, Liberia and Cameroon. VPAs are trade agreements which seek to address the problem of illegal logging through a combination of demand and supply side measures.
To achieve this, IOD PARC led the development of country tailored approaches to the design of monitoring frameworks and laying of a baseline to track the long term impact of the VPAs in Ghana, Liberia and, to some extent, Cameroon.
This work adopted a context sensitive approach that considered the structure of each country’s forest institutions, commercial opportunities, as well as capacity. The linkage of VPA impact monitoring to wider monitoring, evaluation and learning was also a priority, with forests playing significant, and often overlapping, roles in commercial, community and conservation management development.
IOD PARC worked to highlight the importance of effective and systematic monitoring, data synthesis and use for adaptive management in response to opportunities and threats such as climate change. Our team worked to ensure that high quality data from up to date forest inventories, as well as community monitoring systems, could enable comprehensive and transparent management of forest resources for local development benefits and environmental benefits. Our work provided a starting point for ongoing development of forest resources in an integrated manner (community, commercial and conservation).