Partners develop new insights into sustainable tropical timber trade

The STTC-backed study of sustainable tropical timber flows into the EU, the follow-on from its 2018 report, ‘How Sustainable are Europe’s Tropical Timber Imports?’, has started its data-analysis process.

First presented at the STTC’s Conference last October, the EU Sustainable Tropical Timber Data Partner project involves a consortium of bodies experienced in monitoring the sector. It promises new insights into the trade with a goal of greater transparency and more accurate data to aid EU sustainable tropical timber market analysis and also better targeting of development initiatives.

The undertaking is led by the Global Timber Forum (GTF), the international network of associations and timber sector stakeholders, with Netherlands-based forest and timber sustainability advisors and analysts Probos as lead technical partner. It also has the support of the FLEGT Independent Market Monitor project (IMM).

Since its launch last year, the project’s partners have obtained the latest COMEXT trade data for the year 2018 and “cleaned” it to ensure that it is as accurate as possible as a starting point for further analysis. To enhance the process the team have collected data through international databases for tropical countries producing timber and assessed the forest area under each forest management function, for example if they are production or conservation areas. It has also collated data for the FSC and PEFC certified natural forest area in tropical countries, plus their FSC Controlled Wood areas and are working on their production volumes. Analysis of these factors will allow a refinement of the estimates of certified wood for the final report.

Further outreach will continue in the next quarter, with the report due to be published in June.