ITTO backs Timber Trade Portal to boost transparency of legal, sustainable timber trade

16 Aprill 2021

Sawnwood in Sarawak, Malaysia. Photo: JC. Claudon/ITTO

Yokohama, 16 April 2021: ITTO, Form International and the  International Tropical Timber Technical Association have signed a new agreement for the expansion and improvement of the Timber Trade Portal aimed at assisting the growth, transparency and diversity of legal and sustainable tropical timber trade. 

The Timber Trade Portal (TTP) is an answer to the numerous questions timber traders have when it comes to legal timber trade, due diligence, country requirements and export. It serves as a central information point, with country profiles on both timber industry and legislation of producer countries, mainly located in tropical Africa, Asia and Latin America.

The new partnership agreement, “Timber Trade Portal: Towards well-informed legal trade”, which was signed by the three organizations on 8 March 2021, will enable the further development and improvement of the TTP by: 

  • Expanding the geographical and linguistic coverage of the current TTP website by adding six new country profiles, mainly in Asia, and translating the entire website to Chinese.
  • Re-designing the website to modernize the design and improve its user-friendliness.
  • Increasing the website’s exposure and audience through a new market strategy and its promotion at relevant events.

The work will be funded by ITTO and implemented by the International Tropical Timber Technical Association (ATIBT) (the owner of the website) and Form International (the project manager), in close collaboration with the ITTO Secretariat.

ITTO, the ATIBT and Form International are delighted to be involved in the partnership, which will help strengthen synergies between the three organizations in their approach to sustainable forest management and the promotion of trade in legal and sustainable timber and forest products. 

History of the TTP

The TTP was first developed in 2015 by the European Timber Trade Federation (ETTF), with support from ITTO and IDH’s European Sustainable Tropical Timber Coalition. The ETTF and the ATIBT joined forces in 2017 to merge their respective timber legality websites under the TTP. The TTP is a unique platform with summary and in-depth information on the timber legality frameworks of 23 countries involved in the international timber trade.

The website was maintained and updated by ATIBT in 2019 and 2020 through a technical assistance agreement with Form International. This led to a review and update of all the country profiles and the translation of the website into French in 2020. Up to September 2020, the ATIBT and Form International benefited from funding from the Fonds Français pour l’Environnement as part of a major project implemented by the ATIBT since 2013.

The new phase of the TTP is relevant to ITTO’s Programme on Legal and Sustainable Supply Chains for Tropical Wood and Forest Products. As part of that programme, ITTO is partnering with the Global Green Supply Chain (GGSC) initiative, launched in Beijing in June 2018 with ITTO’s support, to create a platform aimed at promoting business information exchange on trade in legal and sustainable timber and forest products. Under the GGSC initiative, a group of progressive Chinese wood trading and processing enterprises (representing more than 15% of China’s wood imports) have committed to increasing their sustainable wood sourcing. The translation of the TTP content into Chinese will greatly contribute to these efforts by providing accessible information on timber legality and sustainability in producer countries.

ITTO’s financial support for the TTP is made possible by a generous grant from the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL).