Development of international cooperation and partnerships is vital to ensure the sustainability of forests, promote their development as a key instrument in combating climate change, and build their capacity to meet growing wood consumption. That is a core theme of the Towards Global Green Supply Chains Forum in Shanghai, highlighted in latest news on the event programme from ATIBT (the International Tropical Timber Technical Association).
Taking place on October 22 and 23, the forum is being organised by the ATIBT in collaboration with the International Tropical Timber Organisation (ITTO), under its Legal and Sustainable Supply Chains initiative, and in conjunction with the China Timber and Wood Products Distribution Association (CTWPDA) and the Chinese Center for International Forest Products Trade, National Forestry and Grassland Administration.
The Forum programme opens with examination of how best to harness and promote the role of the wood industry and productive forests in efforts to combat climate change and promote sustainable development.
Presenters and delegates will also focus on global wood supply and demand. Latest trends will be analysed and opportunities for increasing cooperation and communication between consumers and suppliers worldwide discussed.
Another session will be dedicated to the development of legal and sustainable wood supply chains. Topics covered will be the challenge of meeting common standards given widely varying national and international regulation. Incentive mechanisms, timber legality verification, sustainability certification and the use of new technologies in supply chain management will all be addressed.
There will also be an update on the Global Green Supply Chains (GGSC) initiative, which comprises a partnership of 12 leading Chinese Forest Products operations facilitated by the ITTO. This will look at its role in driving cooperation between timber producers, buyers, processing industry and other relevant stakeholders to develop a platform for “facilitating strategic partnerships and business information exchange’.
The second day of the event will comprise a business forum. Presentations and panel discussions will give delegates the opportunity to share views on the development of effective global green supply timber and wood products chains and the role of the industry in meeting international environmental challenges.
There will also be sessions on the development, challenges, resources and supply potential of the wood industry in the Congo region. These sessions will emphasize the need for sustainable forest management of precious resources in the Congo Basin.
On October 24 and 26 delegates will be invited to join wood flooring site visits around Huzhou, and on the 25 to attend the CTWPDA Global Wood Flooring and Hardwood Conferences in the same city.
The City of Berlin underlined its determination to buy and use only verified sustainably sourced timber at a recent experts’ dialogue on public procurement supported by the European Sustainable Tropical Timber Coalition (STTC).
The April 26 event in the city was organised by STTC partner GIZ GmbH, the German government-backed agency for international cooperation in sustainable development and education, and the Berlin Senate Department for Urban Development and the Environment.
Attended by over 80 participants, who provided some lively debate, the aim was to tackle uncertainties and information deficits regarding Berlin’s current timber procurement administrative regulations, with the aim of increasing demand for sustainably produced material into the future.
Berlin introduced a regulation stipulating procurement of certified timber in 2013, but which allows for the possibility of satisfying its demands by providing alternative evidence that products or material are sustainably sourced when chain-of-custody (COC) is broken. The reliability of this latter provision is now one area of discussion.
“We are determined to ensure the city of Berlin only buys sustainably sourced timber and we get the evidence to prove it and we’re open to discuss and improve our policy where needed,” said Thomas Schwilling, who is responsible for green procurement at the State of Berlin’s Senate Department for Urban Development and the Environment.
Mark van Benthem, participating in the workshop on behalf of STTC, presented on best practice in meeting procurement policies in reality.
“The workshop underlined a clear need to exchange knowledge and experiences across European member states,” he said. “For instance, participants were very interested in how CoC certification was implemented in the Dutch construction sector within a few years, with now over 1,000 construction companies certified. They were also interested in the kind of penalties used when procurement policies are not satisfied.”
He added that the upcoming STTC conference on June 23 in Rotterdam, ‘Real impact through timber purchasing policies’, will be an excellent opportunity for all interested parties, from timber businesses, to government bodies and NGOs, to find out more about successfully implementing and meeting timber purchasing policies. It will be an occasion to discuss challenges and share knowledge and best practices with delegates from across Europe.
According to Dr. Katharina Gamillscheg of the German Timber Trade Federation (GD Holz) certified timber is available, the trade is ready to deliver it, but demand lags behind.
Anja Glatzel of GIZ said the Berlin event was its fourth experts´ procurement dialogue in German cities.
“We’re determined to support good timber procurement policies, that underpin GIZ programme efforts encouraging sustainable forest management,” she said. “That’s also why we’re collaborating with the STTC.”
Click here for the presentations of the workshop (German only).
Dienstag, 26. April 2016, 9.00 – 16.30 Uhr, Sitzungssaal 101, Senatsverwaltung für Stadtentwicklung und Umwelt, Württembergische Straße 6, 10707 Berlin