International trade and markets for forest products have slowly been recovering from the global recession. However, as the economic recovery remains unstable, a number of factors might still affect global timber markets creating both opportunities and challenges in markets and for trade in forest products. Meanwhile, it is widely recognized that increasing market access opportunities (including for new forest products and services) will assist countries to generate necessary financial resources and to implement national policies that promote sustainable forest management. The goal of strengthening the role of forests in economic development needs to be carefully balanced, however, against rapidly shrinking areas and fragmentation of remaining natural forests, and continued illegal logging, corruption and governance challenges. A sustainable future for Asia’s forests requires a careful balancing of conservation, restoration, and improved efficiency and cost-effectiveness for production of wood and other forest products.
The objective of Stream 1 is to assist in achieving the main theme of APFW2016 through the exchange of experiences and perspectives among public and private stakeholders in the region, to review the latest developments in international forest trade and markets, and to address issues relating to the trends and future of the global trade and markets in the context of sustainable forest trade and pathways to prosperity of the region.
The scope of the stream is to examine emerging trends in trade and markets and global and local factors affecting these. Key questions to be addressed include:
- What new trends in timber and non-wood forest products trade are emerging and how have these changed since 2000? What new products and revenue streams have emerged (for example, payments for ecosystem services)?
- How will regional integration (through the ASEAN Economic Community) and trade agreements (both bilateral and multilateral) affect the forest products trade in the Asia-Pacific region?
- How can we proactively grow awareness of and buy-in for a sustainable forest products trade in the future amid increasingly complex demands of society? How can national legality regulations, voluntary third-party certification, and other models of achieving legal and sustainable sourcing create synergies and work towards shared goals?
- How can enough wood and fiber be produced to meet the region’s growing demand in a sustainable way? How have the timber legality standards that have emerged over the past decade affected market access and supply chain management in the forest products industry? How can barriers to entry for smallholders and small-scale producers be reduced?
The Stream will be structured around three main sessions as follows:
Session 1: Situation and trends in world forest products trade
Session 2: Opportunities and challenges for market access
Session 3: Partner-led concurrent events
Mr. Li Qiang
Associate, Forest Program