The 2019 European Sustainable Tropical Timber Coalition (STTC) Conference, held in Berlin, Germany, on 20 November engaged participants in various discussions about the coordination, collaboration and exchange needed between FLEGT and forest certification schemes.
IDH also used the conference to officially launch the report: Unlocking Sustainable Tropical Timber Market Growth Through Data. This study shows that seven main importing countries (Belgium, France, The Netherlands, Italy, United Kingdom, Germany and Spain) represent approximately 90% of the primary tropical timber product import. They estimate that only between 25%-32%, so 28.5% on average, are exposed to certification. Fully sourcing of verified sustainable tropical timber and the use of sustainable tropical timber as a material could have a positive impact on tropical forest and carbon pools.
During the ConverStations session, GTTN introduced the relevance of wood identification technologies as a spot-check verification, future multi-stakeholder development of reference data and how to better bridge different initiatives into one. Participants had the opportunity to explore the topic further, ask questions and share their experience and know-how.
The International Hardwood Conference (IHC) took place back-to-back to the STTC Conference. It was co-organised by the European Organisation of the Sawmill Industry (EOS) and the European Timber Trade Federation (ETTF) together with the German sawmill and timber industry association (DeSH).
Different experts provided analyses and assessments of the current market development, the impact of global trade tensions and the decline in European hardwood demand. There was also a presentation about the wood-based products Life Cycle Inventory and Analysis and its importance for substitution. Climate change was also discussed in relation to tree species, natural disturbances and forest adaptation.