Tropical forests continue to disappear and degrade at an alarming rate. Tropical timber production is one of the causes. In 2016 1870 M cubic meter of tropical wood was produced, according to the ITTO, which was an increase compared to 2015, when construction activities were low due to the recession. Tropical timber production endangers tropical forests and is often the pioneer cash earner before forests are converted into arable land.

Impact Focus

Market transformation

To drive EU sustainable tropical timber import to 50% by 2020, IDH convened the European Sustainable Tropical Timber Coalition (STTC), and is developing a monitoring tool to make EU sustainable timber import transparent. This will help to identify the market segments and/or countries where demand is lacking, and which coalitions can be forged to stimulate uptake. In the landscapes that are part of its landscape program, IDH will continue to support certification of (existing) concessions as proof of concept. Furthermore, we will start piloting scalable models that provide opportunities for communities living in forest landscapes to grow trees sustainably or be (co)responsible for SFM. With these innovations at the market and production end, IDH contributes to inclusive (timber) production and sustainable forest management as integral components of sustainable landscapes.

KPI Progress 2017

  • Change in Business Practice - Private Sector Investment Ratio

    Target 2020 (x 100.000) 1
    Target 2017 1
    Results 2017 1
    In 2017, policy plans and action plans of four Timber Trade Federations and 15 other STTC partners were implemented. And Spain, France, Denmark and Germany now have policies in place for promoting market uptake of sustainable tropical timber. New action plans (presented at the annual STTC event in Aarhus) included development of marketing materials, a new French coalition of architects and construction companies to encourage their use of sustainable tropical timber, and a network of timber trading companies in Denmark researching and promoting lesser known timber species (LKTS).
  • Change in Sector Governance - Satisfaction about the effectiveness of multi-stakeholder processes

    Target 2020 (not set) 0
    Target 2017 (not set) 0
    Result 2017 7
    In 2017, the European Timber Trade Federation (ETTF) discontinued as implementing partner of the European STTC, and IDH took over. Governance will be developed in 2018, including strong roles for ETTF, ATIBT, FSC and PEFC. The fifth European STTC meeting saw strong alignment on increasing the market share of verified sustainable tropical timber. IDH signed the Sustainable Forest Management covenant in March 2017, which is building on our active involvement in the “Green Deal” Sustainable Forest Management. IDH supported the development of the Pan-African Forest Certification (PAFC) in Gabon. This included accreditation with the French agency COFRAC; producing an interpretation guide of the standard; outreach to increase the interest of companies in order to become accredited, and vice versa. The development of PAFC Gabon was accelerated due to the intact forest landscape discussion within FSC, in which many African concession owners feared for their business case.
  • Field Level Sustainability - Farm land area with SFM

    Target 2020 20
    Target 2017 5
    Results 2017 (in progress) 5
    Certification initiatives were contracted to meet our target: the first ever African PAFC certification was achieved by three forestry companies in Gabon. The RDS Juma is a conservation unit for sustainable development administrated by the Secretary of Environment (SEMA) of the Amazonas State in Brazil. This would have been the first conservation unit to be FSC Certified. However, due to political issues and a lack of resources within SEMA, progress was limited. IDH therefore decided to discontinue the project in early 2018.

Relevant SDGs

  • 8 Decent Work & Economic Growth
  • 12 Responsible Consumption
  • 15 Life on Land

Gender focus

In 2018, gender is a criterion in the timber program’s request for proposals. Applicants need to describe whether they are aware of gender risks and opportunities, and how they will address and leverage these as part of their project strategies.

Lessons Learned

Business case:
The business case for SFM continues to be under stress, stemming from lagging demand and high operational costs. In addition to SFM, there is a need for innovative forestry business models that contribute to forest cover in the landscape, as well as increased participation of smallholders, SMEs and communities in commercial tree-planting schemes, and that supply regional and local markets.

Working with private sector and governments means working in a constantly changing landscape of stakeholders. In 2017, priorities of companies and other stakeholders changed due to changes in market demand, NGO campaigns, legal action against illegal imports, the discussions around FSC’s intact forest landscapes motion, changes in government policies, and government (in)action on implementing policies.

Focus countries

Select an option...
World map
Sectors: Tropical Timber
Republic of Congo
Sectors: Tropical Timber
Sectors: Tropical Timber

Our Partners