Sustainable tropical timber – a shared goal

New speakers have been announced for the STTC 2019 Conference, Exploring pathways to sustainable tropical timber. The November 20 event in Berlin also looks like attracting a capacity audience, with over a 100 registrations from across Europe and timber supplier countries.

Latest confirmed speakers include Jesse Kuijper of the Borneo Initiative who will look at impacts of certification on landscapes and David Hopkins, Managing Director of the Timber Trade Federation, who will examine common ground between the EUTR, FLEGT and certification.

Rui Pedro de Almeida Ribeiro and Priscyla Rocha Silva, consultants working on a Verified Sourcing Area project in Mato Grosso, Brazil, will take part in round-table dialogues with delegates, and Benoît Jobbé-Duval of the International Tropical Timber Technical Association (ATIBT), Stefan Meinhardt  of tropical timber specialist Hupkes, Christophe Janssen of Interholco and Ingrid Hontis of Belgian textile, wood and furniture federation Fedustria, will participate in a panel discussion on tackling Europe’s declining use of tropical timber.

At the time of publication, 120 delegates had registered for the Conference, which means it is nearly fully booked.

The theme of the day is how verified sustainable forest management can build on regional and national initiatives, such as the EU FLEGT VPA programme and Verified Sourcing Areas, to help achieve a common goal – a legal, sustainable and commercially viable tropical timber market for the long-term. It will also address the part PR and Communication tools and data can play the process.

Under the theme Navigating the journey from EUTR through to verified sustainable, Mark van Benthem of Probos will present findings of a new study, undertaken with the Global Timber Forum, on EU 28 verified sustainable tropical timber market share.  IDH Programme Manager Nienke Sleurink will also address what the timber sector can learn from use of Verified Sourcing Areas in the Brazilian beef sector.

Wilhelm Unnerstall for the host city of Berlin, itself an STTC member, will describe how it promotes tropical timber use through its procurement policy and Eric de Munck, of the Netherlands Timber Trade Association (NTTA), will look at how timber trade federations can act as catalysts for industry-wide cooperation to grow the sustainable tropical timber market.

The Conference keynote will be delivered by Reinier van den Berg  of meteorological services operation MeteoGroup; his theme, the importance of sustainably managed forests and use of verified sustainable timber in meeting the Paris Climate Agreement.

In common with previous STTC Conferences, a central focus of the Berlin event will be delegate participation. There will be round table discussions in both the morning and afternoon, where participants can address issues raised by speakers, ask questions,  and  share experience and new ideas on sustainable tropical timber promotion and market growth.  Among other discussion leaders will be Nele Schmitz of the Thunen Institute, Ben Romein of FSC Netherlands, George White of the Global Timber Forum and Indra van Gisbergen of FERN.

The STTC Conference takes place at Berlin’s Hotel Amano Central the day before the International Hardwood Conference at the same venue, enabling delegates to attend both.

For more information and to register go to the STTC website.