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International partners increase availability of forest products information and improve reliability of tropical timber statistics

A consignment of sawn timber in Gabon, ready for the export market. Photo: ITTO

A consignment of sawn timber in Gabon, ready for the export market. Photo: ITTO

The Intersecretariat Working Group on Forest Sector Statistics (IWG) concluded its 28th meeting yesterday [29 January 2015] at the ITTO Headquarters in Yokohama (Japan).

Sustaining agarwood

Opening day of the “ITTO-CITES Asian regional workshop on management of wild and plantation sourcer of agarwood”. Photo: K.Ishii, ITTO

Opening day of the “ITTO-CITES Asian regional workshop on management of wild and plantation sourcer of agarwood”. Photo: K.Ishii, ITTO

Forty participants from 15 countries assembled on 19–23 January in Guwahati, India, for an international workshop to share experiences on the conservation and sustainable trade of agarwood.

Going downstream

Over the years, ITTO has funded many projects and activities aimed at supporting the development of sustainable, value-added timber-based industries in tropical countries. The establishment of local timber-processing (“downstream”) industries can benefit countries in many ways, such as by providing employment, contributing to government revenues and encouraging sustainable forest management and the development of timber plantations. In this edition of the Tropical Forest Update, we examine some of ITTO’s efforts to assist its member countries in going downstream.

25th anniversary of the ITTO Fellowship Programme

During the 50th Session of the International Tropical Timber Council (ITTC-50) which took place on 3-8 November 2014 in Yokohama, Japan, the ITTO Fellowship Programme[1] celebrated its 25th anniversary and awarded 23 new fellowships valued at US$150,780.00. Three former fellows were also invited to present their success stories during the Opening Session of the ITTC-50.

US$8.3 million in new funds pledged for tropical forests

At the closing of its 50th Session on Saturday, the 8th of November 2014 in Yokohama, Japan, the International Tropical Timber Council announced additional funding of US$8.3 million to continue the work of the International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO) in promoting the expansion and diversification of international trade in tropical timber from sustainably managed and legally harvested forests and the sustainable management of tropical timber producing forests. The Council also approved a new biennial work programme (BWP) for 2015–2016.

Changing market landscape for tropical timber

The ITTO Annual Market Discussion 2014, organized by the Organization’s Trade Advisory Group (TAG), took place on Wednesday, the 5th of November 2014 with the theme “Domestic and emerging international markets – a changing market landscape”. The theme chosen by the TAG reflects the economic growth across Asia, Latin America and Africa in recent years, which is changing the nature of the global wood products market and is gradually shifting demand from west to east.