032_Global13_Insight_Forestry

Global 13

Global InsightSustainable Forestry “Many countries with substantial tropical timber resources lack capacity for sustainable forest ecosystem management” IntErvIEw Emmanuel Ze Meka, Executive Director, International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO) E Tropical Timber Agreement (ITTA), which was renegoti- Taken together, these constitute an internationally agreed referencecal forests, conservation and sustainable use of forest biodiversity,fire management, and degraded and secondary tropical forests.stablished under the auspices of the United Nations in1986, the ITTO’s work is governed by the International ated in 2006. Among other things, the ITTO seeks to promote sus- point and standard for the management, auditing and certification tainable forest management (SFM) and assists developing tropical of tropical forests. countries to adapt polices to local circumstances through specific In supplementing and reinforcing its policy work, ITTO has projects and action plans. Headquartered in Yokohama, Japan, it thus far mobilised some $380 million for the financing of some has regional offices in Latin America and Africa. 1,000 projects, pre-projects and activities predominantly imple- Emmanuel Ze Meka, talks toGlobal about the organisation’s pri- mented in member countries in the tropics – where most of the orities, its programmes to reduce forest degradation and deforesta- pressing challenges and problems are prevalent – and focusing tion and their implementation, and the challenges of monitoring on implementation of SFM on the ground and in the field where and controlling the trade in sustainable tropical timber. the needs and impacts are greatest. ITTO’s range of projects and activities are relevant to each of the elements essential for Global: Does the International Tropical Timber Agreement (ITTA) the achievement of SFM. This is a clear indication that ITTA give as much weight to conservation as it does to trade? and ITTO have all along accorded equal, if not more, weight to Emmanuel Ze Meka: The ITTA is one of the earliest attempts the conservation and sustainable management of tropical forests on the multilateral front at integrating trade and environment and than to the expansion and diversification of international trade making them mutually supportive, preceding, inter alia, even the in tropical timber. Brundtland Report of 1987 by the World Commission on En- vironment and Development and the UN Conference on Envi- What are the main challenges in reconciling the interests of those ronment and Development (UNCED) in 1992. The ITTA can be who hope to conserve the world’s tropical forests and those who regarded as developmental in terms of contributing to the pro- are directly involved in the global tropical timber trade? motion and diversification of the international trade in tropical The proponents for conservation are driven by their concern for timber from legal and sustainable sources, the sustainable devel- the fate of tropical forests, which have persistently been vulner- opment of the tropical forest sector, and the socio-economic and able to destruction, degradation and decline, and their desire to national development of developing tropical countries. At the save and conserve what is left of the world’s tropical forests, the same time, the ITTA can be considered environmental in terms rich biodiversity contained therein, as well as the protective func- of promoting the conservation and sustainable management of tions, services and benefits of this invaluable natural resource. tropical forests as the resource base, as well as in maintaining the They contend that one of the greatest threats to the world’s tropi- protective functions of these forests and the overall protection of cal forests is the growing production and trade in tropical timber the environment. fuelled by rising and unsustainable consumption, particularly In practice, ITTO undertakes operational activities in the form of in developed countries. The more radical proponents have even policy work and project activities in pursuit of its stated objectives. pitched for an outright ban and boycott of tropical timber and It provides a forum for policy discussions, consultations and devel- timber products. opment among its members. These include the ITTO pioneering On the other hand, the proponents for trade insist that trade in work on the comprehensive development of ITTO Criteria and In- tropical timber is essential to SFM and, indeed, sustainable devel- dicators for the Sustainable Management of Tropical Forests, and a opment. Trade bestows value to tropical forests, which will other- series of ITTO guidelines on natural tropical forests, planted tropi- wise be rendered as of little value and vulnerable to conversion to 32 lwww.global-briefing.org first quarter 2013global


Global 13
To see the actual publication please follow the link above