Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) processes bring negotiators and other stakeholders together in new or existing structures and forums to, among other things:
- Share information and perspectives
- Debate issues
- Develop negotiating positions and position papers
- Negotiate the content of a VPA
- Implement aspects of a VPA
Some VPA structures, such as platforms of nongovernmental organisations or associations of timber traders, gather members of individual stakeholder groups. Other VPA structures, such as technical steering committees and national negotiating teams, have multistakeholder membership.
The governments of timber-exporting countries engaged in VPA processes decide how to organise VPA structures to meet the different interests of national stakeholders. Some VPA structures, such as negotiating committees, are national while others, such as joint implementing committees, are bilateral.