The Sustainable Tropical Timber Coalition has relaunched its website, www.europeansttc.com, developing its role as an information hub on sustainable timber procurement and the benefits it delivers in underpinning sustainable tropical forest management.
The revised STTC site sets out its objectives to increase EU demand for verified sustainable tropical timber through communicating its technical and environmental benefits, and the environmental and development value of tropical forests. Its goal is also to convince tropical suppliers that there is a long-term viable market for verified sustainable tropical timber, so incentivizing uptake of sustainable forest management.
The website’s Market Data page highlights the STTC’s view that accurate, consistent data on the tropical timber trade is central to informing EU market development. It details its own market reports and analysis. It also provides links to other international and national data sources.
In its Marketing section, the website underlines the importance of stepping up tropical timber communication and promotion in the EU given its perception that it is implicated in deforestation. Key tropical timber marketing resources and tools are listed and linked. These include life cycle analysis studies on tropical timber, manuals on the use of certified timber in construction, and the STTC’s YouTube channel, which features a range of videos on the STTC itself, its partners, and the wider values of sourcing verified sustainable tropical timber. It also links to other sustainable tropical timber marketing initiatives and information resources and websites on the performance and availability of lesser used tropical timber species, relevant regulation and business information.
The site also includes a dedicated page on lesser used tropical species (LUS) which, the STTC says, if used more widely would reduce stress on more popular varieties and make sustainable forest management more economically viable. It links to a number of websites focused on availability and technical performance of LUS and a range of other resources focused on varieties from Africa, South East Asia and Latin America. It lists sources of guidance on marketing LUS and their performance in specific applications.
The Procurement Policies page details how these shape the marketplace for tropical timber and provides a link to the Buying Sustainable Timber Guide for public authorities. The STTC is looking to update and include on the website a database providing guidance, materials, tools and training resources for public authorities on sustainable timber product procurement.
The STTC website additionally features a section on the impacts of using verified sustainable tropical timber in terms of climate change mitigation, the superior life cycle performance of timber products and forest and biodiversity maintenance. It also provides a comprehensive list of resources on the wider social, economic and environmental benefits of sustainable forest management.
“Using verified sustainable tropical timber from sustainably managed forests has numerous, often interrelated benefits,” states the STTC. “These are also increasingly objectively proven and documented.”
The site features also prominently a link to the website of the sustainable tropical timber branding campaign Fair&Precious. The two initiatives earlier this year announced that they would work closely together to achieve their shared aim of growing the EU market for verified sustainable tropical timber. Each committed to leverage the strengths of the other, with the STTC’s focus on market and product data and analysis, Fair & Precious’s emphasis on marketing the environmental, social and economic benefits of sourcing tropical timber from sustainably managed forests.
The STTC will continue to develop the website and welcomes feedback and contributions with regards to resources (promotional tools, data resources, publications, etc.).