The European Union has responded to criticism over a forthcoming deal on timber imports with Vietnam, saying the agreement will not have a negative impact on Cambodian forests.
The EU agreement, known as the Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA), was criticized by civil society groups this week for negotiating the deal with Vietnam despite evidence that timber from Vietnam was being sourced from illegal logging operations in Cambodia.
George Edgar, EU ambassador to Cambodia, said in a statement to VOA on Monday that the issues raised by NGOs had been noted by the EU, but added that an EU FLEGT licensing scheme was in place to ensure only legally harvested timber made its way into the supply chain.
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