The new Fair&Precious promotion programme effectively encapsulates the work of the International Tropical Timber Technical Association (ATIBT), supporting the tropical sector’s technical, environmental and economic performance, into a producer- and market-facing branding campaign.
The final workshop of the IMM Trade Consultation in Antwerp gauged trade views on whether FLEGT could play a more prominent role in EU Member States’ (MS) green public timber procurement. Companies also shared experiences of offering FLEGT-licensed timber for government contracts.
There could not have been a more appropriate venue for the latest IMM FLEGT Trade Consultation than Antwerp. The city is one of the world’s great ports and a leading distribution hub for timber, sourced worldwide, for Belgium, the rest of Europe and beyond. Alongside Tilbury in London, Antwerp was also the reception point for the first FLEGT-licensed shipments from Indonesia.
IMM’s latest study on EU wood promotion revealed that Europe’s timber and wood products sector has stepped up the level of its marketing and advertising activity and the clarity, cohesion and effectiveness of its communications in recent years.
With further support, development and communication FLEGT and FLEGT licensing can play a role in underpinning tropical timber product market share in the highly competitive European furniture sector, according to the latest IMM survey.The core aim of the IMM scoping study of procurement in the EU furniture industry is to gauge the sector’s perceptions of the value, impacts and process of sourcing from FLEGT VPA engaged supplier countries.
IMM’s Trade Consultation in Nantes was held against the backdrop and with the cooperation of the Carrefour International du Bois (CIB) timber trade show and the International Tropical Timber Technical Association (ATIBT).
The signature by the EU and Vietnam of the latter’s FLEGT Voluntary Partnership Agreement is scheduled for later this year, with ratification in 2019. They are being heralded as critical staging posts, and important moments both practically and psychologically, in the country’s progress towards full VPA implementation and its start of FLEGT licensing of timber and wood product exports to the EU.
The Joint Implementation Committee for the Indonesian VPA met on 1 March 2018 in Jakarta to review experience with the first 15 months of licensing. According to information from the Indonesian SILK database and the Licensing Information Unit (LIU), more than 39,000 FLEGT licenses were issued during 2017. This means that FLEGT-licenses accounted for 18.2% of all V-Legal documents – paperwork accompanying Indonesian exports globally and guaranteeing timber legality – issued during that period.
The FLEGT licensed information point is expanding its information for timber buyers. Recent IMM trade consultations revealed that the trade advantages of FLEGT licensed timber are relatively well-known. However, the private sector is keen to learn more about, and articulate to their clients, the social, economic and environmental benefits of FLEGT licensed timber.
Comment from the EFI FLEGT-Facility: A quiet revolution has transformed Ghana’s forestry sector, laying the foundations for sustainable development, greater benefits for communities and improved access to international markets. One recent development is the Ghana Timber Transparency Portal, the result of a collaboration between the Forestry Commission and civil society organisation Civic Response.
The Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) has conducted an analysis of Ghana’s FLEGT VPA requirements compared to requirements of Ghana’s National Forest Certification System, which is expected to obtain PEFC-endorsement in early 2019. The study identified significant synergies and complementarity between FLEGT and certification requirements and concluded that, while “working at different levels in many regards”, the ultimate outcomes would be complementary: “improving forest management and combating illegal logging and associated trade”.
Ghana demonstrated its Wood Tracking System and other elements of its Timber Legality Assurance System (TLAS) to stakeholders from Republic of Congo (RoC) and Laos in a five-day event at the end of November. The multi-country information exchange included two conference days and a three-day field trip to the forest and timber processing companies in the Sefwi-Wiawso forest district in western Ghana.
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