ITTO gets new plan of action

3 November 2001, Yokohama, Japan

ITTO's course has been charted for the next five years under the new 'Yokohama Action Plan', announced today by the International Tropical Timber Council.

The Plan, which spans 2002-2006, was developed after wide consultation between Member governments, environmental non-governmental organizations, the timber trade and industry, and other international organizations. Its aim is to accelerate progress towards achieving exports of tropical timber and timber products from sustainably managed sources and it sets six major goals.

• Improving transparency of the international timber market;
• Promoting tropical timber from sustainably managed sources;
• Supporting activities to secure the tropical forest estate;
• Promoting the sustainable management of tropical forests;
• Promoting the increased and further processing of tropical timber from sustainable sources; and
• Improving industry's efficiency of processing and utilization of tropical imber form sustainable sources.

According to the Council Chair, Dr. Josefina Takahashi, the new Action Plan reflects the broad scope of the Organization.

"We have set a challenging agenda," she said. "But achieving sustainable tropical forest management and a sustainable timber trade requires nothing less".

According to Dr. Takahashi, member countries will need to increase their efforts if they are to make more rapid progress.

"Producer members will need to work harder to raise their capacity to manage their forests sustainably and to develop sustainable and profitable forest industries," she said. "Consumer members will need to increase their support for these efforts, both through direct assistance and through facilitating the trade of timber from sustainable sources. And the Organization itself will need to be highly energetic if it is to maintain its high standards in the face of what will undoubtedly be an increased workload".

For more information contact: Mr. Collins Ahadome, Information Officer;