Key to the development and growth of the European sustainable tropical timber market is accurate information on the trade. This provides the foundation for and informs campaigns and initiatives to increase sustainable tropical timber procurement, which, in turn can drive uptake of sustainable forest management in tropical countries.
Below you will find details of data provided by STTC and links to other information sources.
Currently (2020) only an estimated 31 to 36% of European primary and a selection of secondary tropical timber product imports are exposed to certification of sustainable forest management. That’s according to IDH and STTC partner, forest and timber sustainability analyst and advisor, Probos and GTF, the Global Timber Forum.
So there remains, considerable scope for market share growth, even in countries such as the UK and the Netherlands, where there are already high levels of environmental awareness and commitment on sustainability issues. In fact, if the EU 27 plus the UK, imported exclusively verified sustainable tropical timber products it would have positively impacted over 16 million hectares of semi and natural tropical forests and reduced CO2 emissions significantly in 2020. See the report ‘Europe’s sourcing of verified tropical timber and its impact on forests: What Next? ’ for full details and individual country data.
The STTC’s ambition is to increase the share taken by verified sustainable tropical timber. Fundamental to achieving that is to gather and disseminate accurate, current market data. Analysis of the numbers on trade flows, what products are supplied from which sources and where they do and don’t sell, is not only key to shaping policy and targeting market promotion and education initiatives. It is also vital for measuring success.
In 2018 the STTC published an initial report, ‘How sustainable are Europe’s tropical timber imports?’, with data to 2016. In 2019 the report Unlocking Sustainable Tropical Timber Market Growth Through Data was published focussing on primary tropical wood products. The 2020 follow-up report Understanding sustainable secondary tropical wood products through data focuses on secondary tropical wood products. Published late 2021, the report ‘Europe’s sourcing of verified tropical timber and its impact on forests: What Next?’ covers both primary and a selection of secondary timber products (likely to contain wood from natural tropical forests).
There are various other data sources available on tropical timber trade flows, with some including data on verified sustainable timber. These have a narrower focus, but include information on such aspects as national initiatives to demonstrate procurement policies are met (see table below).
|Sustainable Timber Information Exchange (STIX)||STIX is a joint initiative of The International Tropical Timber Organisation (ITTO) and the Global Timber Forum (GTF) and provides access to data on timber products trade as reported by the statistical agencies of 46 countries including nearly all the world’s largest exporters and importers. https://stix.global/|
|FSC International||An estimate of the share of FSC-certified timber in global wood production .|
|Malaysian Timber Certification Council (MTCC)||MTCC includes statistics in their annual reports about the amount of MTCS-certified timber exported to various countries|
|The Borneo Initiative (TBI)||Provides tradeflow data from Indonesian concession holders participating in The Borneo Initiative|
|UK Timber Trade Federation||Compiles data on procurement by TTF members following its compulsory Responsible Purchasing Policy, including figures for market share of certified hardwoods and country of origin.|
|Netherlands Timber Trade Association||Undertakes analysis by product group of total and per company procurement by NTTA members under its Responsible Purchasing Policy (Dutch only)|
|The Netherlands||Probos has monitored Dutch market share of sustainably sourced timber since 2005. Latest figures cover 2015, with 2017 report soon (summary in English, full report in Dutch)|
|Belgium||Probos and partners have monitored market share verified sustainable timber in Belgium since 2011, with latest figures covering 2016 (summary in French, full report in Dutch)|