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Keeping timber trade legal, Malaysia’s customs officers given a helping hand

Logs being inspected in Sabah before transiting through Malaysia. Photo: The Sabah Foundation

Logs being inspected in Sabah before transiting through Malaysia. Photo: The Sabah Foundation

More than 100 customs officers, forestry officials, timber trade enforcement and private sector representatives from across Malaysia met on 12 May 2016 in Putrajaya to develop timber trade guidelines to assist frontline customs authorities in their work at a national workshop organized by the Ministry of Plantations Industries and Commodities (MPIC), Malaysian Timber Industry Board (MTIB), Royal Malaysian Customs and TRAFFIC, in collaboration with the World Customs Organization (WCO) and ITTO, as part of ITTO’s Biennial Work Programme for the years 2015-2016.

Indonesia and EU ready to move on FLEGT licensing

Plastic figure-8 nails are applied to meranti plywood logs to reduce end-splitting in a log yard in Probolinggo, Indonesia. Photo: MY Massijaya

Plastic figure-8 nails are applied to meranti plywood logs to reduce end-splitting in a log yard in Probolinggo, Indonesia. Photo: MY Massijaya

Indonesian President Joko Widodo, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, and European Council President Donald Tusk agreed on 21 April 2016 to move swiftly towards promoting trade in legally produced timber between the European Union (EU) and Indonesia through the start of the first-ever Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) licensing scheme. The market effects of the scheme are being monitored by the FLEGT Independent Market Monitoring (IMM) mechanism, a multi-year project supervised by ITTO and financed by the EU.

Improving forest products statistics in the Caribbean

ITTO, FAO and the Centre for Agriculture and Biosciences International (CABI) held a regional workshop on forest products statistics for the Caribbean region in Saint Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago, on 12–14 April 2016. The aim of the workshop was to strengthen the statistical collection, analysis and reporting abilities of countries in the region.

New publications to assist in restoring coastal forests in Mexico

A handbook designed to help local communities restore vital but degraded coastal dune ecosystems in the Mexican state of Veracruz, and a second manual on the sustainable development of commercial timber plantations in dune systems, have been published by Mexico’s Institute of Ecology (INECOL) as part of an ITTO-supported project.

Vale Professor Duncan Poore, a giant of tropical forestry

It is with immense sadness that we convey the news of the passing of Professor Duncan Poore. Duncan was a good-humoured, honest and articulate man and a great advocate for tropical forests, and he was a friend of many of us at ITTO and in the international forestry community. He was a “founding father” of ITTO, and he continued to support the Organization until his death. He died peacefully in March in his beloved Scotland, aged 90.

ITTO/CBD Collaborative Initiative convenes conference on biodiversity in Mekong subregion

Community participation and secure tenure are prerequisites for the conservation of biodiversity in the Mekong subregion, and biodiversity conservation initiatives that lead to self-reliance can help alleviate poverty, according to about 100 stakeholders and conservation professionals attending a conference in March as part of the ITTO/Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) Collaborative Initiative for Tropical Forest Biodiversity.