9 October 2018

Procuring sustainable timber to combat deforestation

Only  30% of tropical timber products in the EU market are sustainable - this is one of the key findings of a recent report commissioned  and  co-authored by  IDH - the Sustainable Trade Initiative and forest and timber  experts. The report identifies trends in the trade of tropical timber on the European market, and explores how a European commitment to 100% verified   sustainable tropical timber, can contribute to deforestation-free supply chains and help meet climate change mitigation targets.

It also highlights the successes of Sustainable Timber Procurement Policies (STPPs) which have been implemented in 19 EU countries. However, for these policies to affect the market they need to be backed by strong political commitment and enforcement. Certification is mentioned as "a key component for an effective strategy to combat imported deforestation" and it can also support public procurers in defining criteria for their timber products. Procurers need be able to verify whether timber actually meets their procurement policies, a need to which certification schemes can respond.

"If the seven main consuming countries would source onlyverified sustainable primary tropical timberproducts, itwould have a positive impact on approximately 5.3 million ha of tropical forests", concludes the report.

Click here to access the full report.