Tropical Timber

Sustainable management of tropical forests by creating a market and supporting concession holders


One of the key threats to tropical forests is conversion to for example agricultural land use. Deforestation, and the resulting ecological, social and economical degradation in the tropics, is taking place at an alarming rate. Each year between 12 and 15 million ha of topical forests disappear affecting biodiversity and greenhouse gas emissions.  


After 20 years of certification, sustainable tropical timber is still far from mainstream. Trade in certified sustainably produced timber and other forest products has proven to promote sustainable forest management (SFM). Through SFM  around 90% of carbon and biodiversity of the forest is conserved as well as the livelihoods of the 800 million people who live in and depend on forests and woodlands.  


The IDH Tropical Timber Program facilitates and accelerates sustainable forest management by supporting concession holders in the process towards SFM certification in the tropics.


On the demand side, the European Sustainable Tropical Timber Coalition (STTC) is an alliance of industry, business, government and NGOs dedicated to increasing European demand for sustainably sourced tropical timber. For more information, please visit the European Sustainable Tropical Timber Coalition website.


Part of increasing the demand for sustainable timber in Europe is making sure businesses understand the value of certification and can communicate this clearly to their customers. This is the objective of the VIA initiative (Value and Impact Analysis Initiative), in which IDH has partnered with Kingfisher, Ikea, Tetrapak and SCA. 

Read more about the Tropical Timber Program.


Download our report on Mainstreaming Sustainability in Tropical Timber (1.7 Mb)


Program at a glance


on MDGs


9 million ha of tropical forest sustainably managed and indictly improving the livelihoods of 800 million people who depend on the forests.

9 million ha of tropical forest sustainably managed and thus preventing deforestation and forest degradation.

30% market share of sustainable timber on selected European markets

Sustainable Economic Growth

Both concession holders with large forests and small producers and communities are supported to manage forest sustainably, helping to maintain their source of income and that of their workers.

Private Sector Development

Strengthening of local concession holders in The Amazon, Borneo, the Congo Basin by providing them with support on their way towards SFM certification. Consession holders are also provided better access to the international market.

Economic Empowerment

Support is given in the process of reorganizing the supply chain towards more local processing in developing countries.

Roberto Waack,<br />
CEO Amata and member of the Board of Directors of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)<br />
Sustainable management of tropical forests is probably the most powerful alternative way of consolidating the so–called economy of the tropical forests. It’s crucial for the survival of tropical forests in Asia, Africa and the Amazon.’
Roberto Waack,
CEO Amata and member of the Board of Directors of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)
Focus countries

Congo basin region, Indonesia, Peru, Suriname, and Europe 









and several other institutional partners; about 25 companies in Europe; concession holders in the focus countries.


More information

Marieke Abcouwer; Tropical Timber Program Manager