China timber companies urged to establish responsible purchasing systems to combat illegal logging
Guangzhou, China, 3rd April 2014—TRAFFIC and WWF’s Global Forest & Trade Network (GFTN), in collaboration with the China Timber and Wooden Products Distribution Association and support from IKEA Supply AG last month held a “Timber Legality Training workshop” in Guangzhou, aimed at increasing awareness among Chinese timber companies of the US Lacey Act, the EU Timber Regulation (EUTR) and Australia’s Illegal Logging Prohibition Act (AILPA).
“As a major player in the timber products market, Chinese processers and manufacturers have a leading role to play in taking appropriate measures to ensure compliance with all domestic, supply and destination country legislation,” said Xiao Yu, Timber Programme Officer with TRAFFIC in China.
“Illegal logging and timber trade not only undermine conservation, they also result in reduced profitability of legal trade, loss of foreign revenue and currency exchange, uncollected forest-related taxes and depleted forest resources and services.”
“It is become imperative for all links in the supply chain to show that they have taken the appropriate measures to keep illegal timber out of the global marketplace.”
About 80 participants from 35 companies, 4 NGOs, 2 timber associations and representatives from the US and Japanese consulate in Guangzhou attended the recent workshop.
China is the world’s biggest timber producer and consumer, and also the world’s biggest timber exporter.
“Given the US is the largest export market for China, followed by the EU, their policies and regulations are very important considerations for Chinese timber companies,” said Liu Nengwen, President of China Timber and Wood Product Distribution Association.
“Now combatting illegal logging and establishing responsible purchasing systems are the global trends. As important players in the global timber trade chain, Chinese timber companies should establish their own system to contribute towards sustainable development of forestry.”
To assist them, TRAFFIC and WWF’s GFTN have held a series of Legality Training Workshops across China since last October, in collaboration with a local associations. Participants have reported the workshops are a good opportunity to understand international policy and regulations related to timber trade, and how to fulfill appropriate legal requirements.
For more information, please visit gftn.panda.org