STTC – supporting sustainable forests
The STTC’s ultimate objective is to prevent deforestation and forest degradation in tropical countries and to encourage businesses and markets to support that goal.
Sustainable tropical timber sales support sustainable management
EU tropical timber sales have declined in recent years. The STTC is concerned that this could both disincentivise suppliers from implementing sustainable forest management and that European end users could be deprived of a raw material that, compared to man-made products offers, higher performance characteristics, a unique aesthetic and superior carbon and wider environmental credentials.
European timber buyers are at the forefront of moves to support tropical country efforts in implementing legal and responsible forestry practices. Loss of their commercial presence in the market reduces their influence. It risks tropical forestry and timber sectors turning to customers who attach less importance to sustainability and could risk conversion of forestland to other uses.
STTC is convinced that growing the EU market for verified sustainable tropical timber will lead to spread of responsible forest management in tropical countries. We calculate that, if the leading seven European tropical timber-importing countries bought exclusively verified sustainable material, an additional 12.5 million ha of tropical forest would come under sustainable management to meet demand.
The STTC’s goals:
To boost EU sales of sustainably sourced tropical timber:
To encourage spread of sustainable forest management (SFM) in tropical countries:
by raising awareness of it’s environmental, social, economic and development value; and by convincing the tropical forest sector there is a viable, valuable, long-term EU market for sustainably sourced tropical timber.
Within these broad goals the STTC:
Acts as a hub for market data and marketing tools for verified sustainable tropical timber and pools knowledge on the sector in such areas as life cycle analysis (LCA) and performance of lesser known tropical timbers species (LKTS).
Researches and monitosr European market share and uptake of certified tropical timber, collating data to inform further market development projects.
Provides guidance on the relative roles of the EU Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) initiative and sustainability verification. The STTC takes the view that FLEGT is an important stepping stone towards sustainability, but not a substitute for certification.
Lobbies government to implement sustainable timber procurement policy, working with like-minded organisations and initiatives. It provides data to support government strategies and hold authorities accountable to sustainable procurement policies and targets.
Promotes sharing of data, sales and communication tools and technical research between STTC partners including LKTS research, LCA and tropical timber market guides.