STTC and F&P Conference 2021 considers sustainable forests’ key climate change role

Photo: JB Dodane

With policy makers and global media focused on the outcomes of COP26, the STTC and Fair&Precious annual conference will spotlight the key role of sustainable forests in maintaining a liveable climate. The online event takes place on 18 November, six days after the close of the UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow. It targets an audience across the timber and forest industries; trade federations, certification schemes, NGOs, government and civil society. It gathers a roster of trade, research and forest and timber sector sustainability experts to address the conference theme ‘Sustainably managed forests as part of the solution to climate change: recognizing the value of certified forests and ecosystem services’.

Audience participation forms a core part of the programme. Besides presentations, the conference features breakout discussions on a wide range of topics, from the landscape approach in driving sustainability, to the development of environmental product declarations (EPDs) for tropical timber products.

Following an introductory keynote – linking good governance and sustainability – from Hervé Maidou, Secretary General of the Commission of Central African Forests (COMIFAC), a panel, including Mr. Maidou, René Boot, director of Tropenbos International, and Mark van Benthem of Probos and STTC founding partner, will address the impacts of European tropical timber imports and certification on climate change. Delegates will be able to share their views and quiz the panel in a question and answer session.

Next, there are a dozen of discussion sessions to choose from. Just to mention some: tropical timber EPDs feature in a discussion of the role of the built environment on climate change. This will look at the contribution in this field of the Dryades project, a joint initiative of the ATIBT, French timber association Le Commerce du Bois and timber businesses to develop EPDs for a range of products. The landscape approach to sustainability, where a specific jurisdiction adopts a sustainability framework covering a range of areas, from water quality and supply maintenance, to forestry, will be subject of a discussion led by Willem Klaassens, Director of the SourceUp programme at IDH, the Sustainable Trade Initiative. After attending COP26, UK Timber Trade Federation Managing Director David Hopkins will lead a conversation on how the timber trade sector can contribute to its outcomes.

Other discussion subjects are on the contribution of tax incentives’ to tropical forest certification; partnerships between tropical forest producers and sustainable timber buyers; the role of data in support of sustainable forest management; use of lesser known timber species; marketing and the image of tropical timber; and PAFC Congo Basin, the new regional forest certification programme, encompassing Gabon, Cameroon and the Republic of the Congo.

The relationship between the landscape sustainability approach and ecosystem services is the theme of the third and final part of the conference. Followed by a panel question and answer session, there will be presentations on the SourceUp project and linking landscape initiatives to global buyers, landscape approaches and sustainability intensification and integration of ecosystem services to maintain certified forests.

The Conference runs from 08.30 am to 12.00 am CET and you can register on the STTC website.