China is the world's largest importer of timber, with increasing volumes sourced from African countries such as Cameroon and the Republic of Congo, transited through Viet Nam.
The abundance of tropical timber in Central African rainforests has resulted in a booming timber trade, but legal compliance is an issue. Chinese companies throughout trade chains often knowingly or unknowingly operate in a way that could threaten biodiversity and/or in a way that deprives local communities of potential revenue for development.
timber operators often don't realise they're breaking the law, which is why we're providing training and tools to make legal compliance easier to understandChen Hin Keong Senior Advisor – Forest Governance and Trade
We're working across timber supply chains to support and guide key stakeholders in their efforts to transition towards full sustainability and legality compliance for timber. This includes working with:
A key way to avoid illegal timber trade is through the promotion of legality guidelines and providing associated training with timber companies and customs officers in relevant importing and exporting countries.
We're developing country-specific manuals, linking to existing Voluntary Partnership Agreements (VPAs) legality definition, for companies operating in Cameroon, Republic of Congo, Viet Nam, and China, alongisde running training workshops and events, to help them keep within national and international law.
In 2018, we developed a legality guidelines document for customs, with additional tools in development. Browse available manuals and associated summary documents below.
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This project is generously funded by the United Kingdom Department for International Development.
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