STTC conference delivers tropical timber rallying call

A new survey of leading importers’ views on growing the EU market for tropical timber will be unveiled at the Sustainable Tropical Timber Coalition (STTC) annual conference in Berlin.

Key findings from the survey, undertaken by forest and timber sustainability analysts and advisors Probos, will be presented and delegates invited to discuss and share their ideas on the issue.

This will be just one focus at the November 20 conference, titled Exploring pathways to verified sustainable tropical Timber.

The background to the event will be continuing contraction in overall use of tropical timber in the European market at a time when there is growing urgency to increase sales of verified sustainable tropical material.

“The whole supply chain has a role, responsibility and interest in reversing this downward trend, and market-wide effort is vital for success,” states the STTC.  “Growth of the EU tropical timber market and the share of verified sustainable timber will incentivise tropical suppliers to introduce sustainable forest management.”

“We need to find ways to improve the business model of certified forest companies and to the best of our ability to make them stronger,” added Benoît Jobbé-Duval managing director of ATIBT, the International Tropical Timber Technical Association, which runs the STTC partner tropical timber branding campaign Fair&Precious.

In the conference session headlined Promoting tropical timber- a new urgency, there will be an overview of verified sustainable tropical timber marketing tools.

A spokesperson from the City of Berlin will also describe its work to promote timber via its procurement process and leading European companies will present their marketing initiatives.

In the session Navigating the journey from the EU Timber Regulation through to verified sustainable, speakers will examine the stepwise approach to sustainability certification, including through building on existing regional and national forest management initiatives,  such as the EU Forest Law, Enforcement Governance and Trade initiative and Verified Sourcing Areas.  There will be presentations on trends in sustainable tropical timber market share and the impact of certification on landscapes.

Following the highly successful tradition of previous STTC Conferences, a significant part of the day will be given over to delegate participation and feedback using the table talks format, led by the popular event moderator Peter Woodward. A wide range of topics will be opened for discussion under the headline themes The sustainable verification journey and Tropical timber promotional imperatives and activities.

Delegates will also have the opportunity to respond to other points made during the day, to sign up to specific commitments and to input into proposals for further actions from the STTC.

The overarching message of the Conference will be the importance of building scale in the verified sustainable tropical timber market to achieve real impact in tropical forest governance and management.

And the day will close on a rousing note, with a ‘call to arms’ for the tropical timber sector, including an address from a leading tropical timber country figure, highlighting the key role of forests, trees and timber to their future development.

The Conference is also the day before the two-day International Hardwood Conference in Berlin, giving delegates the opportunity to attend both. In fact, over refreshments after the STTC conference, there will be an opportunity to network with fellow delegates and participants of the International Hardwood Conference.

The STTC is expecting a capacity audience drawn from across the tropical timber sector, with delegates already signed up from the spectrum of timber businesses, trade federations, the research sector, international agencies, NGOs and government.

To register.