New training modules available on legal and sustainable timber supply chains in Congo Basin

26 July 2022

A forest worker marks a recently harvested log in Cameroon. Photo: L. Qiang/ITTO

Yokohama, Japan, 26 July 2022: ITTO has released four training modules on legal and sustainable tropical timber supply chains in the Congo Basin  aimed at expanding market access for tropical timber produced in the subregion and increasing the contributions of the sector to sustainable development, climate-change mitigation and other regional objectives.

The four modules,  adapted to conditions in the Congo Basin, have been produced in collaboration with the Network of Forestry and Environmental Training Institutions in Central Africa (Réseau des Institutions de Formation Forestière et Environnementale en Afrique Centrale) (RIFFEAC) and validated in a series of workshops in 2020 and 2021. The modules are:

1) Understanding “zero deforestation”

2) Assessing legality and achieving accountability

3) From legality to sustainability

4) Markets and market access.

Among other matters, the modules cover best practices in legality, sustainability and traceability, as required by international markets, along supply chains from the forest to the market. They are designed for use by a wide range of stakeholders, including decision-makers in government and the private sector; forestry experts in government, the private sector, non-governmental organizations and municipal and community forests; tax and customs personnel; salespeople; freight forwarders; traders; specialized company workers (e.g. prospectors, fellers, haulers and transporters); artisans; members of forest-adjacent communities; parliamentarians; and students, including at RIFFEAC member institutions.

“The implementation of legal and sustainable tropical timber supply chains is an imperative in demonstrating tropical timber’s sustainability  credentials, and capacity building on this crucial concept is the first step in the right direction,” said ITTO Executive Director Sheam Satkuru.

“I am confident that, if the training modules are widely applied in the Congo Basin, they will boost efforts to expand market access for legal and sustainable tropical timber, improve people’s livelihoods, and maintain the forests for future generations.”

The modules, which are an output of ITTO’s Legal and Sustainable Supply Chains Programme, funded by the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL), are available in English, French and Spanish.

Download the modules.

Related SDGs

The training modules will improve knowledge and understanding of the concept of legal and sustainable supply chains among forestry students and professionals, thus upgrading the curricula of educational institutions, especially in the Congo Basin.

Legal and sustainable supply chains will assist in minimizing negative environmental and social impacts of the timber industry, addressing issues such as water and energy use, pollution, the treatment of workers, biosecurity, marginalized people, biodiversity and land use, thus enabling consumers to become drivers of sustainable forest management.

Legal and sustainable tropical timber supply chains can assist in harnessing the benefits of forests for climate-change mitigation, biodiversity and sustainable development.

The concept of sustainable tropical timber supply chains captures many of the elements of sustainable forest management promoted by ITTO.

Legal and sustainable tropical timber supply chains can help ensure efficiency, best practices and transparency—in the forest, on the log truck, in the mill, on the ship and in the showroom, thus requiring collaboration and trust across a wide spectrum of stakeholders.