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Thursday, 07. November 2013
Press Release: FSC joins the European Tropical Timber Coalition (EU STTC)
Joining efforts to increase the value of responsible forestry in the tropics
The EU Sustainable Tropical Timber Coalition (EU STTC)
The European Sustainable Tropical Timber Coalition (EU STTC) is an initiative of IDH the Sustainable Trade Initiative and the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs aiming to boost the market for sustainably produced tropical timber. The EU STTC brings together partners from local, regional and national governments, as well as from the private sector from across Eu-rope. By developing a mature market for sustainably produced tropical timber the EU STTC aims for the sustainable management of an additional ten million hectares of tropical forest by 2015.
The purpose of IDH is to improve sustainability in sector value chains, and contribute to the Millennium Development Goals 1 (Eradicating extreme poverty and hunger), 7 (Ensuring environmental sustainability) and 8 (Developing a global partnership for development).
The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is identified as an expert organization when it comes to certified sustainable management of tropical forests and FSC-certification as a tool for measuring responsible forestry
FSC has two decades of experience with responsible forest management in the tropics. Through its unique multi-chamber approach, FSC brings together stakeholders that have an interest in responsible forestry to find a tailor-made and a locally relevant balance between economic, ecological and social aspects. FSC has experience and regional presence in all three major tropical regions (Amazon, Congo Basin, South-East Asia). It is the largest and most renowned certification scheme in the tropics with almost 20 million hectares of natural tropical forest under FSC certification. FSC is the only certification scheme that is supported by private and public sector, as well as large environmental NGOs such as Greenpeace and WWF, fair trade organizations and different social organizations from labor unions to indige-nous peoples organizations.
In addition, the FSC Network globally has in-depth experience when it comes to developing markets and working together with the corporate sector to sustain the uptake of FSC certified tropical timber.
Using Tropical Timber from well-managed forests is important
Tropical forest degradation and deforestation is alarmingly high. Annually 13 million hectares of tropical forest disappear (16 million hectares per year in the 1990’s). As deforestation is particularly a problem in the tropics it may seem logical to refrain from using any tropical timber (e.g. for construction purposes). However, the opposite is true: one of the best ways to protect and preserve tropical forest is by purchasing products from FSC certified responsibly managed sources. By creating demand for responsible forest management the forest is protected. If there is no demand, it is likely the forest will be converted to other uses, such as agriculture or ranching. FSC certified forest management adds value to a forest. Using and specifying FSC certified tropical timber thereby supports responsible forest management.
FSC’s role within the EU STTC
The EU STTC aims to increase the uptake of sustainably produced tropical timber on the market. By supporting FSC certification of responsible forest management of natural forest in the tropics and the enlargement of the area of FSC certified forest area in the tropics FSC and STTC can reach our common goal. As our approaches are reciprocal it is only natural to join forces.
FSC welcomes the participation and support of other organizations and partners in the EU STTC who can help to reach the goals of more FSC certified area in the tropics and in-creased demand for FSC certified products. FSC is proud to have the continued support of global environmental organizations.
Within the EU STTC, FSC will lend its expertise on certification in the tropics and market demand. FSC will work on developing action plans with leading companies and with local authorities committed to responsible forestry. FSC will aim to build on participants’ capacities and to work collaboratively with them to increase the share of FSC certified timber procured and applied by companies and local authorities. FSC can offer technical support and assis-tance regarding certification and standards, promotion of tropical timber in general and de-velopment of Lesser Known Timber Species as well as help to build market links, provide monitoring of procurement goals and advice on the application of FSC certified timber.
If you have any questions/are interested in taking part in one of FSC’s programmes within the EU STTC please contact Felix Romero: f.romero at fsc point org www.ic.fsc.org
For more info on EU STTC you can visit also: www.eusttc.com
Forest Stewardship Council
The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is an independent non-governmental organization that promotes environmentally sound, socially beneficial, and economically prosperous management of the world’s forests. FSC was created in 1993 to help consumers and businesses identify products from well-managed forests. FSC sets standards by which forests are certified, offering credible verification to people who are buying wood and wood products. Currently more than 183 million hectares and 27,000 companies are certified to FSC standards worldwide. For more information visit www.fsc.org.