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ITTO and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) extend collaborative efforts to 2020 and Beyond

Mr. Kunihiro Yamauchi, Director General of JICA (left) and Mr. Emmanuel Ze Meka, Executive Director of ITTO sign and exchange the MOD. Photo: T. Yanuariadi/ITTO

Mr. Kunihiro Yamauchi, Director General of JICA (left) and Mr. Emmanuel Ze Meka, Executive Director of ITTO sign and exchange the MOD. Photo: T. Yanuariadi/ITTO

An agreement extending collaboration between ITTO and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) was signed by Mr. Emmanuel Ze Meka, the Executive Director of ITTO and Mr. Kunihiro Yamauchi, Director General of JICA, on 30th of June 2015 at ITTO headquarters in Yokohama, Japan.

New ITTO project video demonstrates implementation of a comprehensive electronic forest information system in Guatemala

Determining the legality of forest products and implementing monitoring mechanisms that promote legal forest practices has been a challenge for many tropical timber producing countries, such as Guatemala. The National Forest Institute (INAB) of Guatemala has recently released a video showcasing the Electronic Forest Enterprises Information System (SEINEF), being implemented through the ITTO project TMT-PD004/11 Rev.2 (M). SEINEF is a traceability system for registering, monitoring and controlling the flow of forest products through companies that are legally established and registered in the country.

International symposium on illegal logging closes with call for consumers and producers to use legal timber

The International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO) co-organized an International Symposium to Combat Illegal Logging and Associated Trade with the “Committee for Wood Utilization Caravan to Bridge Forest and City of Japan” at the United Nations University in Tokyo, Japan on the 12 June 2015.

New Fellowships

Twenty eight fellowships were awarded by the International Tropical Organization in the 2015 Spring Cycle. The newest group of fellows represent 15 different countries and includes 14 female fellows. The total amount of the fellowships was US$150,000.

Approaching the issue of illegal logging and associated trade

Approximately 300 participants have congregated at the United Nations University in Tokyo, Japan to discuss the issue of illegal logging and trade in tropical timber. The International Symposium to Combat Illegal Logging and Associated Trade, which opens on 12th of June 2015, will allow participants to explore further actions on combating illegal logging and in promoting credible timber legality assurances. The symposium is being organized by the “Committee for Wood Utilization Caravan to Bridge Forest and City of Japan” in cooperation with ITTO and is sponsored by the Forestry Agency of Japan.

Moving beyond conflict on procurement

Public timber procurement policies have been a hot topic of debate among governments, tropical timber traders and environmental groups for a very long time. Environmental groups argue that tropical timber-importing countries can lead the way to sustainable forest management by buying only certified or at least legally verified tropical timber; timber-exporting countries say that such procurement policies give non-tropical timber an unfair market advantage; and traders worry about the cost of conforming to new standards.