Council pledges US$6 million for new tropical forest projects and activities

24 July 2004, Interlaken, Switzerland

Photo: seco

A project to evaluate the commercial stocks of mahogany (Swietenia macrophylla) in Peru and to formulate a strategy for the sustainable management of the species will be undertaken after benefiting from part of the US$6 million pledged today in the International Tropical Timber Council.

The Council is the governing body of the International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO). It has been meeting this week in its 36th session to discuss a wide-ranging agenda aimed at promoting the sustainable use of tropical forest resources and the trade of sustainably produced tropical timber.

The Council financed a total of 10 projects at this session, including one that will support collaborative forest management in Surigao del Sur in the Philippines, another that will bring greater transparency to tropical timber trade flows in China, and another that will strengthen capacity in Indonesia to utilize efficient wood-processing technologies.

The Council session was notable for the parallel convening of a workshop comprising representatives of the tropical timber trade and civil society. This workshop presented a report to Council in which it urged ITTO and its member states to take aggressive steps towards combating illegal logging and illegal trade, and made a number of specific recommendations.

One recommendation was for the convening of a major international workshop on the transportation of timber products, and financing for this workshop was subsequently provided by Council.

The workshop also recommended the convening of a meeting that would bring together indigenous and other forest communities to discuss barriers to forest management and trade and the relationship between these and illegal logging and illegal timber trade. The Council also provided financing for this meeting, which will probably be held next year.

The major donors at this session were the governments of Japan, Switzerland and the United States. Contributions were also pledged by the governments of Norway, the Republic of Korea and New Zealand. The Common Fund for Commodities also made a contribution, and funds were mobilized from the Unearmarked Fund of the Organization’s Special Account and from its Bali Partnership Fund Sub-account B.

For more information contact the ITTO Secretariat at

See the Earth Negotiations Bulletin coverage of the session at