Tropical Forest Update

Fast-tracking sustainability

With many indicators of sustainability heading in the wrong direction globally, it’s easy to lose sight of the gains being made and the success stories emerging due to efforts in the forest sector. The international community is increasingly recognizing the important role that tropical forests and forest products can play in the fight against climate change, while also providing the world with much-needed materials and enabling rural communities to achieve economic development.

By sustainably producing timber and non-timber products and maintaining or increasing the delivery of environmental services, the tropical forest sector clearly has a huge role to play in global efforts to address environmental and developmental challenges. Fast-tracking this role will require a renewed effort at all scales and from all actors—and the international community can lead the way.


  • From the Executive Director

     by Gerhard Dieterle
    The increasing recognition of the role of wood in mitigating climate change has major implications for ITTO’s work.
  • When micro businesses have macro impact

     by Elvis Caballeros
    An ITTO project in Guatemala has helped micro, small and medium-sized forest enterprises move towards sustainability.
  • Supporting legal timber supply in Indonesia

     by Andrew Lowe, Eleanor Dormontt and Anto Rimbawanto
    An ITTO project has helped develop a DNA-based timber tracking system.
  • International forum creates network for green supply chains

     by ITTO Secretariat
    Participants have agreed to work together to develop a mechanism designed to speed the development of green timber supply chains.
  • Council welcomes new guidelines, funds pledged

     by ITTO Secretariat
    The most recent session of the International Tropical Timber Council considered a range of issues related to the sustainable management of tropical forests and the sustainable trade of tropical timber.
  • Adding value to timber in Africa

     by ITTO Secretariat
    The International Tropical Timber Council convened its first “trade and markets day” to examine the challenges facing the tropical timber trade and sustainable supply chains, especially in Africa.
  • Advantage, Viet Nam

     by Phan Thi Thu Hien
    Low-cost labour is only one of the reasons why Viet Nam’s wood-processing industry is growing.
  • China’s added value

     by Fran Maplesden
    ITTO’s latest review of the world timber situation shows that China continues to dominate imports of tropical primary wood products and exports of finished products.
  • Market trends

     by Mike Adams
    The trade in primary forest products exhibited interesting
    trends in 2019.
  • Tropical and topical

     by Ken Sato
  • Recent editions

     by Ken Sato
  • Meetings

Full edition

The ITTO Tropical Forest Update is published quarterly in English, French and Spanish.
The French and Spanish editions are usually posted about one month after the English.

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Content does not necessarily reflect the views or policies of ITTO. ITTO holds the copyright to all photos unless otherwise stated. Articles may be reprinted without charge providing the Tropical Forest Update and author are credited and the editor notified (