Published 2 November 2023


TRAFFIC and China Partner for a Greener Hardwood Industry

Zhang Jiagang, China, 25 September 2023. TRAFFIC, in collaboration with over 200 representatives from government bodies, businesses, research institutions, and international organisations, participated in the 2023 World Sustainable Hardwood Conference to bolster sustainable practices within China’s extensive hardwood industry.  

During the conference, Ms. Ling XU, Director of TRAFFIC China, and Ms. Wei SHEN, Deputy Secretary-General of the China Timber and Wood Products Distribution Association (CTWPDA), signed a Memorandum of Cooperation (MoU) on behalf of both organisations. This MoU represents a commitment to foster collaboration, establish a framework based on equality and respect, and actively pursue sustainable trade and investment within the hardwood industry throughout China, Africa, and Southeast Asia.

Linh Nguyen Thuy, TRAFFIC Viet Nam's Timber Project Officer giving a presentation at the event.

Under the International Climate and Forest Initiative (NICFI) project, both organisations will focus on several key areas, including enhancing CTWPDA's Code of Conduct and its regulations, providing training for CTWPDA’s member companies, conducting association sustainability due diligence and corporate internal audits, verifying the legality of hardwood products, developing social responsibility guidelines for Chinese companies operating in Africa, creating more community forestry development opportunities in overseas investment, and guiding sustainable consumption practices.

In addition, they will work to encourage member companies to participate in government procurement processes that maintain sustainability standards, fostering increased communication opportunities between the Chinese, Vietnamese, and African hardwood industries.

Later this year, TRAFFIC and CTWPDA will jointly organise a delegation to conduct pilot studies on local community development in the Congo Basin countries, with the goal of facilitating a sustainable hardwood trade chain between Chinese enterprises and local communities. These studies will serve as valuable case studies for the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC).

Linh Nguyen Thuy, Timber Project Officer of TRAFFIC Viet Nam, and Denis Mahonghol, Director of TRAFFIC Central Africa, presented insights into hardwood resources and legal trade in Viet Nam and Africa at the conference. 

CTWPDA also released "China's Imported Tropical Timber Industry Report – Africa Chapter", offering insights into the background, risk analysis, trade routes, and usage of tropical timber in China’s market. This report serves as a valuable reference for enterprises involved in African hardwood trading and processing. 

CTWPDA greatly influences the development of China’s hardwood industry and the global trade of forestry products. In the post-COVID era, TRAFFIC remains committed to providing technical support to its member companies, establishing sustainable timber supply chains for the hardwood industry, and promoting the legal and sustainable hardwood trade between source countries and consumer nations."

Ms. Ling Xu, Director of TRAFFIC China


The conference was hosted by the China Timber and Wood Products Distribution Association (CTWPDA), with support from the Zhangjiagang Municipal Government, and co-organised by TRAFFIC, the Forestry Science and Technology Information Institute of the Chinese Academy of Forestry Sciences, the China-UK Collaboration on International Forest Investment and Trade Programme (InFIT), and World Resources Institute (WRI).

About Norway's International Climate and Forest Initiative (NICFI):

NICFI supports efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions resulting from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries through efforts to improve forest and land management in tropical forest countries and reduce the pressure on tropical forests from global markets.