More than 50 global stakeholders from businesses, NGOs, trade bodies and government representatives came together on 4-5 March at Goodenough College, London to combat illegal logging.
Protecting and growing the world’s forests is essential to overcoming global challenges like climate change, and this is recognised by the Department for International Development (DfID) in their Forest Governance, Markets and Climate (FGMC) Programme. The programme aims to support better governance in developing countries and reduce the impact of illegal logging worldwide.
As a grantee of the programme and a global leader in responsible sourcing, the Timber Trade Federation joined other speakers at the event to discuss how trade can promote sustainable forestry.
“The growth of the global trade in sustainable timber and the forestry sector is key to reducing carbon emissions, supporting biodiversity, and creating a modern bio-economy which works in harmony with nature,” says Timber Trade Federation CEO David Hopkins.
“This conference was an opportunity to bring together the many organisations and people who are working hard to make this happen. By raising the profile and impact of the sector, and overturning negative stereotypes, we can overcome global issues.
“Forests around the world absorb carbon dioxide. They bring livelihood to communities. But too often these forests aren’t preserved. Too often they are cleared to make room for more agriculture, or worked on illegally, and the promise of sustainable forestry is lost.
“However, Governments, NGOs, and the commercial sector are doing incredible work to upskill and improve global forestry practices, particularly through the Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT), and this must continue.”
Underpinning the UK’s commitment to forestry and climate finance in a post Brexit landscape, day one began with a speech from DfID pledging commitment to four key areas: low carbon energy, balancing agriculture and nature, infrastructure, and climate change.
Highlights of the country by country focus from day one included China’s passing of article 65, Ghana applying the lessons from FLEGT to the cocoa trade, and Indonesia as the world’s first licenser of FLEGT timber.
Day two of the forum focused on themes aligned with COP26 to be held in Glasgow from 9 to 29 November. Nature-based solutions, including sustainable forestry, has the potential to provide around a third of the action required to stabilise warming to below 2C and is a UN Environment focus as a ‘super 2020 for biodiversity and climate’.
FGMC will have a presence at COP26 to demonstrate forestry work, and the efforts by grantees to combat climate change through nature-based solutions. The Timber Trade Federation will be launching a project showing the use of sustainable hardwoods.
The forum closed with a panel discussion of the landscape for the next 10 years with leaders from FERN, TTF, UN-REDD, and DEFRA. All agreed on the need to raise global ambition to tackle climate change, commodity and trade issues and integrate sustainable development more holistically into forestry, the future and communities.