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Tropical Timber Accord launches at COP26 to compact illegal deforestation


November 8, 2021
By UK Timber Trade Federation

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Photo source: worldofwoodfestival.org

Billed as a “call to action” from the global private sector involved in forest management and timber production, the Tropical Timber Accord – “Global Forests need Global Governance”, developed in concert by the UK Timber Trade Federation (TTF), highlights that strong, inclusive legal frameworks are essential for the sustainable management of tropical forests and that this underpins all other climate policy ambitions.

The paper proposes a new governance approach for the global tropical forest sector based on national standards within an international framework. Crucially, it also proposes supporting an international secretariat to administer and oversee the development of this framework.

Produced from a series of workshops with trade associations and businesses throughout the tropical production belt and facilitated and led by TTF, the Accord is supported by associations in both producer and consumer nations including China, Europe and the UK.

“We really welcome this call to action that the TTF has facilitated. We have to be able to support growth in countries across the world where the forests are an important economic resource, but at the same time, protect and support our climate change objectives,” said Vel Gnanendran, Climate and Environment Director, FCDO.

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Sheam Satkuru, Director of Operations, ITTO, said that the international tropical timber agreement 2006 is an established legal framework and a partnership between producers and consumers. Protecting and sustainably managing tropical forests cannot be left to “one-sided” approaches, but must be incentivised through continual dialogue and resources which support sustainable production, commits to sustainable consumption and shares the cost of enforcement.

“The tropical timber and forest sector has a key role in achieving the forest management and conservation goals of COP26, and this requires the private sector, governments and civil society coming together to promote governance and sustainable management of resources,” Satkuru said.

David Hopkins, CEO of the TTF, said, “It was fantastic to see the pledges being made in the Glasgow Leaders Declaration on Forests and Land Use, and the other commitments being made toward ending illegal deforestation throughout the world. Now we need to start to put some of the detail behind those pledges into action, with a far stronger global legal framework governing the management of forests and the supply chains through international trade.

“This is the first time that the global private sector has come together to speak with one united voice to advocate for greater global governance and enforceable legal frameworks. We need to act now – there is no time to lose.”