ITTC Reviews Project Implementation and Receives Funding Pledges for ITTO

ITTO logo2 December 2013: At the Forty-ninth Session of the International Tropical Timber Council (ITTC) and the associated Sessions of the Committees on Finance and Administration, Economic Information and Market Intelligence, Forest Industry, and Reforestation and Forest Management held in Libreville, Gabon from the 25 to 30 November 2013, the ITTC reviewed project implementation, launched new projects, and received funding pledges in support of the work of the International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO).  

According to the ITTC, at the closing of this Session, the total funding made available for the work of the ITTO during 2013 stood at US$15.7 million, out of which US$10 million was pledged at this meeting.

Items discussed at the Session included the revised Principles and Guidelines for the Sustainable Management of Natural Tropical Forests, the establishment of a regional office for Africa, and strategies on resource mobilization, and knowledge management. The committees also considered progress in the adoption and implementation of Voluntary Partnership Agreements (VPAs) for timber trade, land and forest tenure reforms, including the importance of customary use rights, and evolving approaches to forest certification. This included a pledge of almost US$5.5 million from the European Union for the development of an independent market monitoring system for Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT).

As a result of discussions, the ITTC launched 9 new projects supported by an additional US$10 million in funding pledges. Projects approved will be implemented in Benin, Cote d'Ivoire, Fiji, Guyana, Indonesia, Malaysia, Panama, Papua New Guinea and Peru and will cover conservation and restoration activities, improved governance, and support for production and marketing. The ITTC also approved a new knowledge management strategy to facilitate the broader dissemination of ITTO research, results and project experiences.

The ITTC also facilitated a discussion of the joint work programme between the ITTO and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). The ITTO-CITES programme is intended to coordinate the listing of timber species in CITES annexes through the implementation of 24 projects in 11 countries.

Finally, the ITTC considered reports on the implementation of ITTO projects focused on payments for ecosystem services (PES) mangrove conservation and sustainable use, and improved use of plantation timber. The meeting also examined the propagation, harvesting and marketing of eaglewood in Indonesia.

The ITTC is the governing body of the ITTO. The fiftieth session of the ITTC is set to take place in Yokohama, Japan from 3-8 November 2014. [ITTO Press Release on Meeting] [ITTO Press Release on Mangrove Project] [CITES Press Release] [ITTO Press Release on the ITTC]