EQO-NIXUS has started the implementation of a 3 years project in the field of FLEGT Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) in Liberia. In consortium with SOFRECO, EQO-NIXUS will act as an Independent Auditor to monitor the implementation of the system established to verify legal compliance with the Legality Assurance System (LAS).

The European Commission funded project, entitled “Efficiency of the FLEGT licensing scheme and effectiveness of the Legality Assurance System (LAS) assessed through the services of an Independent Auditor” is part of the Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) Action Plan. This facility sets out a range of measures available to the EU and its member states to tackle illegal logging in the world’s forests and to support sustainable forest management.

The VPA includes a commitment for the Government of Liberia, in consultation with the EU through the Joint Implementation Committee (JIC) of the VPA, to contract an Independent Auditor who will audit the functioning of all the aspects of the VPA Legality Assurance System.

During this project, EQO-NIXUS will first develop the methodology and procedures and then will carry out several audits each year to monitor the performance of the system, identifying failures and weaknesses and monitoring corrective actions applied.

The LAS and the FLEGT licensing are progressively being developed in Liberia with the objective to complete the system by 2018. Voluntary Partner Agreements have been implemented already in 15 countries in Africa, Asia and Central and South America.