Support community enterprises to increase legal timber supply, says ITTO

20 February 2023

When CFEs are supported, like this one in West Java, Indonesia, they can make substantial contributions to the flow of legally verified timber. Photo: T. Yanuariadi/ITTO

20 February 2023: Increased backing for community forest enterprises (CFEs), especially in the tropics, would enhance the production, trade and distribution of legally harvested timber and timber products in the domestic markets of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) economies, stated ITTO projects manager Tetra Yanuariadi.

Dr Yanuariadi made the point following a video presentation at the 23rd meeting of the APEC Experts Group on Illegal Logging and Associated Trade (EGILAT), which was convened on 17–18 February 2023 in the margins of APEC’s First Senior Officials’ Meeting in Palm Springs, United States of America.

“ITTO’s experience is that, when CFEs are supported, they can make substantial contributions to the flow of legally verified timber,” said Dr Yanuariadi. “At the same time, CFEs are also effective in improving ecological functionality and increasing human well-being in previously degraded and deforested landscapes.”

Dr Yanuariadi further stated that providing more support for CFEs will be crucial for making progress on APEC’s 2022–2024 policy theme, “Advancing the trade and distribution of legally harvested forest products: Navigating to legal timber”.  

He described ITTO’s substantial field work to build capacity in CFEs to increase legal timber production, such as initiatives in Indonesia, Thailand and Viet Nam targeting sustainable wood use promoted in domestic markets.

“ITTO encourages its member countries, donors and other parties to scale up such projects across the tropics,” said Dr Yanuariadi.

The 21 APEC economies account for 2.19 billion hectares of forest, or more than half the forest area globally, and for about 80 percent of the international trade in forest products. In 2010, APEC leaders pledged to enhance cooperation to address concerns with illegal logging and any kind of trade associated with it, and to promote sustainable forest management and rehabilitation; to accomplish this mission, APEC created EGILAT in 2011. ITTO has been contributing actively to EGILAT since 2016.

Watch the video presentation