US$8.3 Million in new funds pledged for tropical forests

8 November 2014

Closing day of ITTC-50. Photo: IISD Reporting Services

Projects, thematic programmes and other activities funded
At the closing of its 50th Session on Saturday, the 8th of November 2014 in Yokohama, Japan, the International Tropical Timber Council announced additional funding of US$8.3 million to continue the work of the International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO) in promoting the expansion and diversification of international trade in tropical timber from sustainably managed and legally harvested forests and the sustainable management of tropical timber producing forests. The Council also approved a new biennial work programme (BWP) for 2015–2016.  
Among other things, the additional funds will support projects to assist in: the rehabilitation of degraded forest in Côte d’Ivoire; sustainable forest management (SFM) through REDD+ in Cambodia; the development of small and medium-sized forest enterprises in Guatemala; the management of Tara and Cempaka plantations in Peru and Indonesia, respectively; the promotion of SFM in African forests; and community forest management in Malaysia.
Funding made available for the new BWP will allow the implementation of activities such as: guidelines on gender equity; further work on criteria and Indicators for SFM; the ITTO-CITES programme; a workshop on mangrove forests; support for the international wildland fire conference, to be held in Korea in October 2015; the development of web profiles of the wood base industry in ITTO member countries; strengthened statistics collection; support for forestry extension services; work with the World Customs Organization; and a survey to assess the ITTO guidelines. Additional funding was also provided for the Freezailah Fellowship Fund and the Thematic Programme on Trade and Market Transparency.
During the session, the government of the Central African Republic acceded to the International Tropical Timber Agreement, 2006, bringing ITTO membership to 70, the largest ever.
Intense negotiations were held on the selection of a new Executive Director, but no decision was made and the process will continue at the next session.
Donors at this session of the Council were: the governments of Japan, the European Union, the USA, Germany, the Netherlands, China and the Republic of Korea; and APFNet, Sumitomo Forestry and the Japan Lumber Importers' Association. Funds were also sourced from ITTO’s Bali Partnership Fund and Working Capital Account.
The Council is ITTO’s governing body. It meets at least once a year to discuss wide-ranging issues aimed at promoting sustainable tropical forest management and the trade of sustainably produced tropical timber. The 51st session of the Council will take place in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on 16–21 November 2015.
For more information on ITTO and the 50th Council Session, go to
Daily coverage of the 50th Council Session by the Earth Negotiations Bulletin is available at

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