ITTO- Trade Statement, ITTC54 2018, Yokohama

Sustainability and legality in the tropical timber trade are crucial issues. This very point was obvious in the recent trade agreement between Canada, USA and Mexico which pointedly acknowledges the importance of Sustainable Forestry Management (SFM) and noted its importance in sustainable development, conservation and sustainable use of resources. The agreement highlights green managed forests’ contribution to global environmental security as well as the critical role of forests in providing essential ecosystem services, job creation and alleviating poverty. Significantly, the agreement has provisions to combat the illegal trade in timber and also, quite importantly, includes support for SFM and legal trade. ITTO has worked for 40 years on sustainability and trade promotion, yet tropical timber consumption in traditional markets has been declining for years. The TAG recognizes there seems to be a dis-connect between ITTC and the timber industry which has allowed this to happen. If we do not act urgently, the conversion of tropical forest land will continue
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