The Timber Trade Federation & the Built Environment Trust celebrated a successful year of FLEGT licensed timber from Indonesia with a private view of the Timber Transformer exhibition.
Around 200 people, including an array of political and industry guests, attended the event in London to show their support for the FLEGT process.
Harriett Baldwin MP, Minister of State at the Department for International Development opened the event. “It’s wonderful to welcome and congratulate Indonesia on being the first country to have met the FLEGT standards,” she said, reminding the audience that the UK was keeping FLEGT and EU Timber Regulations post-Brexit.
“I am also very proud that our Prime Minister last year at the One Planet summit in Paris was able to announce that we are giving further contributions to this important work. I commit to work closely with your organisations – and countries around the world – to help take this forward.”
Adam Mulawarman Tugio, deputy chief of mission at the Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia, stressed the need for partnership between stakeholders to put this process in place. “The partnership between the Government, the private sector, the NGOs and the people who live in the forests, we consult with all of them and work together to ask how we would be able to tackle the issues of sustainable forest management in Indonesia,” he said.
“Through the FLEGT licensing, Indonesia has achieved a milestone, not only in sustainable timber trade but also in enjoying the positive economic impact this brings. There was an increase in the export of timber to the UK and EU from Indonesia. FLEGT is an opportunity for Indonesia and I am sure other countries will follow the example of having a licence system.”
Hilary Benn MP, former Secretary of State for DfID, reflected on the development of both FLEGT and EUTR with fellow ministers and other stakeholders. “We were a conspiracy seeking to do good and we did,” he said. “We were advocates of regulation, public interest and future interest, and we came together and we made it possible. We make progress by politics and determination and sheer will, and we remind ourselves of the capacity of human beings to address problems and build something better for the future.”
Summing up the speeches, David Hopkins, managing director of the Timber Trade Federation, said: “The timber industry has a great duty of care to the forests where its products come from. Which is why this exhibition is so important. It shows how one country underwent a total transformation in its approach to forest management and timber production and the benefits that have arisen out of that.”
“It has shown how a truly collaborative, multi-stakeholder approach involving every step of the supply chain from European Governments right down to small scale community farmers, can work together to achieve a lasting, sustainable outcome.”
Hopkins thanked all of those involved in supporting the show: UK Aid, the Multi-Stakeholder Forestry Programme of Indonesia, the Indonesian Ministry of Environment and Forestry, the Indonesian Embassy in London, plus TTF Member Sponsors – Timber Connection Ltd, Timbmet, Vandecasteele, DW Mouldings, Meyer Timber, Abbey Woods, Pacific Rim Wood Ltd, Hanson Plywood, and Adventures in Furniture.
The exhibition runs at the Building Centre until 28th March.
PICTURE CAPTION – From left to right: Colin Tweedy, Harriet Baldwin MP, Adam Mulawarman Tugio, David Hopkins, Hilary Benn MP