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Photo: K. Sato/ITTO

Photo: K. Sato/ITTO

It is with deepest regret that ITTO informs of the sudden demise of Mr Satoshi Akahori, Assistant Director of Forest Management, in his home country of Japan, on 25 June 2018 at age 55. Satoshi, as he preferred to be called, joined ITTO on 1 April 2018, after a long and successful career in Japan’s Forestry Agency, where he held a number of posts, including Director General of the Forest Training Institute; Director of the Forest Utilization and Conservation Division; and Director of International Forestry Cooperation. He also worked on international forestry issues prior to joining ITTO, including a secondment to UN FAO in 1990–1992.

Tropical timber, bamboo and rattan could help bridge supply gap for environmentally friendly materials  

ITTO Executive Director, Gerhard Dieterle speaking the parallel session on sustainable tropical forest management co-organized by ITTO at BARC2018. Photo: R. Carrillo/ITTO

ITTO Executive Director, Gerhard Dieterle speaking the parallel session on sustainable tropical forest management co-organized by ITTO at BARC2018. Photo: R. Carrillo/ITTO

Participants in the Global Bamboo Congress 2018 (BARC2018) held late last month agreed that the tropical timber and bamboo and rattan sectors need to work together to meet the increasing demand for forest products due to population growth, close the supply gap for sustainable building materials, and conserve tropical forests. There was consensus that tropical timber, bamboo and rattan co-exist and complement each other as commodities, and the ecosystems of which they are part play important roles in climate-change mitigation and adaptation.

As an important first step towards greater interaction between the sectors, ITTO and the International Network for Bamboo and Rattan (INBAR) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) during BARC2018 to strengthen cooperation between the two organizations.

Collaboration key to achieving deforestation-free supply chains, say experts

Some of the world’s leading forest experts say that collaboration between forest producers and the consumers of tropical timber is crucial for developing “deforestation-free” supply chains as a means to reduce deforestation and boost economic development. Speaking in a video produced by ITTO, Executive Director Gerhard Dieterle and representatives of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the Center for International Forestry Research, Global Canopy, and Forest Trends reflect on the challenges involved in ensuring that the supply of timber encourages sustainable forest management and helps in halting tropical deforestation. Achieving such deforestation-free supply chains will take, they say, political will, highly motivated individuals, good governance, and collaboration between sectors as well as among forest managers, logging, transport, processing and retail companies, civil-society organizations, and governments. They spoke during the International Symposium on the Promotion of Deforestation-Free Global Supply Chains to Contribute to Halting Deforestation, which was convened in Tokyo, Japan, by Japan’s Forest Agency, ITTO and FAO in January 2018.

Chinese timber companies commit to jointly develop the global green supply chain

A workshop and dialogue co-convened by ITTO in China in late June concluded with a call by twelve leading Chinese forest products enterprises—with a combined annual turnover of RMB 80 billion (about US$12 billion)—for the establishment of a global green supply chain (GGSC) initiative, to be facilitated by ITTO.

ITTO has a mandate to promote sustainable forest management (SFM) and the expansion and diversification of tropical timber trade from legal and sustainable sources. In collaboration with the Center for International Forest Products Trade of the National Forestry and Grassland Administration of China (CINFT/NFGA), ITTO organized the International Workshop on Global Green Supply Chain of Forest Products and Dialogue with Chinese Leading Forest Products Enterprises in Beijing, China, on 21–22 June 2018 with the aim of promoting interest in green supply chains in China’s vast timber sector.

Asia regional meeting on CITES Tree Species Programme calls for more training on non-detriment findings

Participants at a meeting on the CITES Tree Species Programme (CTSP) held in Indonesia on 25–29 June 2018 called for more training on the preparation of non-detriment findings for CITES-listed tree species as a way of improving the regulation of trade in CITES-listed tree products.

The aim of the CTSP, which was announced in June 2017, is to support countries that export valuable parts and derivatives of CITES-listed tree species. The CTSP is continuing the work carried out for more than a decade by the ITTO–CITES Programme, which came to an end in 2016. More than 900 tree species, many of which are highly valuable, are listed under the CITES Appendices.

ITTO assists Madagascar with plan for precious wood stockpiles

An ITTO co-hosted workshop held recently in Madagascar has started a process for dealing with Madagascar’s stockpiles of precious woods listed in Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.

The Workshop to Discuss Implementation of Madagascar’s Use Plan (“Business Plan”) for Securing and Disposing of Stockpiles of Rosewood and other Precious Woods” was convened in the country’s capital, Antananarivo, on 19–21 June 2018. Co-hosted by the Government of Madagascar (Ministry of Environment, Ecology and Forests) and ITTO, it assembled over 30 stakeholders from the Government of Madagascar, donor/importer country governments, civil society, the private sector, academia and international organizations to provide inputs to a business plan for managing the stockpiles. The Government of Madagascar will submit the business plan to the 70th meeting of the CITES Standing Committee in October.