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ITTO and Honduras sign project agreement on lesser-used timber species

H.E. Héctor Alejandro Palma, Honduran Ambassador to Japan (left), and Dr Gerhard Dieterle, ITTO Executive Director, with the signed agreement for the implementation of a project to increase the use of lesser-used species in the Honduran Caribbean region. Photo: Ken Sato/ITTO

H.E. Héctor Alejandro Palma, Honduran Ambassador to Japan (left), and Dr Gerhard Dieterle, ITTO Executive Director, with the signed agreement for the implementation of a project to increase the use of lesser-used species in the Honduran Caribbean region. Photo: Ken Sato/ITTO

ITTO and the Honduran government signed an agreement on the implementation of a project to improve the silviculture, marketing and use of 12 lesser-used timber species abundant in the Honduran Caribbean on Monday, the 16th April 2018. The aim of the project is to shift the forest sector away from traditional selective logging and promote sustainable forest management covering a broader range of tree species.

Bamboo treatment facility opens in Indonesia

Officials celebrate the opening of the bamboo treatment facility, with treated bamboo poles in the background. Treatment to increase longevity is an important step in the industrial use of bamboo. Photo: ITTO project PD 600/11 Rev.1 (I)

Officials celebrate the opening of the bamboo treatment facility, with treated bamboo poles in the background. Treatment to increase longevity is an important step in the industrial use of bamboo. Photo: ITTO project PD 600/11 Rev.1 (I)

A new bamboo treatment facility in East Nusa Tenggara Province, Indonesia, will help local communities boost incomes by adding value to their bamboo products. The facility, which was developed with ITTO’s technical and financial support, will increase the longevity of bamboo products using a non-chemical, environmentally friendly preservation treatment.

Investments in SFM, reforestation and restoration crucial for green economic development, says Executive Director

Massive investments are needed in the tropics in sustainable forest management (SFM), reforestation and forest restoration to efficiently cover the looming supply gap of timber and other harvested wood products —which could otherwise rise to several billion cubic meters per year by 2050— and to grow the green economy, according to ITTO Executive Director, Dr Gerhard Dieterle, speaking at a high-level forum as part of the Conference on Forest Rehabilitation in the Asia-Pacific Region underway in Beijing, China.

“SFM, efficient timber production, and a transparent and equitable timber trade are key to the development of green economies, conserving the world’s remaining tropical forests, and ensuring the ongoing provision of public goods and services. Moreover, investments in forestry would also open up opportunities for green economic growth and industrialization in other sectors”, said Dieterle.

Celebrating the International Day of Forests: Tropical forests and sustainable cities

Forests provide immense benefits to cities—but are often taken for granted. Forests in and near urban areas cool the air through shading and evapotranspiration; store carbon; remove air pollutants; reduce flooding; assist in food, energy and water security; provide timber for construction and household items; wood for cooking and heating; conserve biodiversity; and improve the physical and mental health of citizens. If you live in a city, take a close look at the trees around you to discover the many services and products they provide.

Every year on 21 March the world celebrates the International Day of Forests, and this year’s theme is “forests and sustainable cities”. There is abundant evidence that sustainably managed urban and peri-urban trees and forests greatly improve quality of life in cities. More than half the world’s population lives in cities today, and this proportion is set to grow in coming years, including in the tropics. Urban and peri-urban forestry, therefore, is crucial for our wellbeing.

ITTO is marking the International Day of Forests with a new infographic illustrating the benefits that tropical forests provide cities. We invite you to share this infographic to raise awareness of the importance of sustainably managing forests in our cities—in the tropics and elsewhere.

Conference calls for more support for forestry training in Congo Basin

Participants at the International Conference on Forestry Training: Addressing the Challenges of Training for Sustainably Managing the Congo Basin Forests, which ended on 7 March 2018, have called on ITTO and the international community to provide ongoing technical and financial support to improve facilities, equipment, materials, training and capacity building for forestry training in the Congo Basin subregion.
 
Among other things, participants adopted new training modules on sustainable forest management, one targeted at university students and the other directed at field technicians in forestry. The conference called for support for the uptake of the training modules by all training institutions in the subregion.

ITTO honours key role of women in forests on International Women’s Day

ITTO is marking International Women’s Day on 8 March by presenting interviews with four prominent advocates of the key role of women in sustainable forest management. The interviewees are former chair of the International Tropical Timber Council (ITTO’s governing body), Stephanie Caswell; President of the African Women's Network for Community Management of Forests, Cécile Ndjebet; the Ambassador of Finland to Peru, Colombia, Ecuador and Bolivia, Mika Koskinen; and ITTO Executive Director Gerhard Dieterle.

By adopting the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including Sustainable Development Goal 5 (“achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls”), all ITTO members acknowledge the importance of gender equality in achieving sustainable development.

ITTO also recognizes that gender equality and empowering women are essential for the sustainable management of tropical timber producing forests, which is a core ITTO objective.

The International Tropical Timber Council adopted the ITTO Policy Guidelines on Gender Equality and Empowering Women at its 53rd session in December 2017 with the objective of mainstreaming gender considerations into ITTO’s work. Stephanie Caswell, Cécile Ndjebet, Mika Koskinen and Gerhard Dieterle discuss how the guidelines will assist ITTO’s efforts to encourage sustainable forest management.