The development and operationalization of timber tracing and legality verification systems are an important objective of FLEGT (Forest Law Enforcement Governance and Trade) Voluntary Partnership Agreements (VPAs). These systems are developed at the national level in order to ensure that all relevant timber circulating in the country meets the legality requirements agreed upon in the VPA. To date, no country that has signed a VPA has fully implemented these VPA systems. Using a qualitative methodological approach, this paper explores the perceived barriers to VPA implementation according to Cameroon's private forestry sector. The paper applies an analytical framework for forest rule compliance in order to better understand the institutional and individual constraints facing VPA implementation. The study identifies the following barriers to VPA implementation in Cameroon: corruption, informal nature of domestic sector, non-sensitive timber demand, technicalities of VPA/LAS, high cost of legality and lack of awareness on the part of the private sector.
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Vol. 16 • No. 3