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April 2016                                                                                       
Reforestation in Guatemala: ITTO projects are helping strengthen the capacity of local communities to better manage their forests. Photo: INAB

Spring, a season of renewal

Dear reader,
Spring has arrived in the Northern Hemisphere and with it has come good news in the form of additional funding for ITTO projects and activities courtesy of the Government of Japan, ITTO’s host for over 30 years. The new funding will facilitate the implementation of six projects and two activities in ITTO’s Biennial Work Programme.
Other news reported in this edition of Tropical Forest News (TFN) includes the recent signing of a memorandum of understanding with BirdLife International, a long-time partner of ITTO; the convening a regional workshop to exchange experiences on industrial and trade development for tropical timber and timber products in Africa; and the successful organization of Stream 1 of Asia-Pacific Forestry Week 2016 on the theme “Pathways to prosperity: future trade and markets”.
In this edition of TFN I am pleased to share with you the latest issue of Tropical Forest Update, which highlights the achievements of the partnership between ITTO and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) in the ITTO–CITES Programme for Implementing CITES Listings of Tropical Tree Species. Also in this edition you will find information on other ITTO projects and on the tropical forest sector.
The various items of good news in this edition of the TFN are tempered, unfortunately, by sadness at the loss of Professor Duncan Poore, who died peacefully in March at the age of 90. Included in this edition is an obituary of Professor Poore, who was a great friend of many of us in the international forestry community and also a great supporter of ITTO. We mourn his loss.
Steve Johnson

US$2.7 million pledged for tropical forests
The Government of Japan has announced an intersessional pledge of funds amounting to US$2.7 million to support sustainable forest management in the tropics. The funds will enable the implementation of six new projects and two activities in ITTO’s 2015–2016 Biennial Work Programme. Read more
Vale Professor Duncan Poore, a giant of tropical forestry

Duncan Poore was a good-humoured, honest and articulate man and a great advocate for tropical forests. He was a friend of many at ITTO and in the international forestry community, and his influence on global forest policies and institutions was far-reaching. Read more

ITTO and BirdLife International extend collaboration to 2020

ITTO and BirdLife International have recommited to working together towards biodiversity conservation and forest restoration by signing a new memorandum of understanding (MoU) in the presence of Her Imperial Highness, Princess Takamado of Japan, who is also Honorary President of Birdlife International. The new MoU, which is valid for five years, was agreed after the successful implementation of a previous MoU spanning 2012–2015. Read more
ITTO/CBD Collaborative Initiative convenes conference on biodiversity in Mekong subregion

Community participation and secure tenure are prerequisites for the conservation of biodiversity in the Mekong subregion, and biodiversity conservation initiatives that lead to self-reliance can help alleviate poverty, according to about 100 stakeholders and conservation professionals attending a conference in March as part of the ITTO/Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) Collaborative Initiative for Tropical Forest Biodiversity. Read more
Creating a common vision for Africa on timber processing and trade

Greater regional coordination and a common vision are required for the development of a vibrant value-added timber sector in Africa and a strong intraregional timber trade, according to a workshop convened in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire on 24–26 February 2016 as part of activities under ITTO Project PD 700/13 Rev.2 (I). Read more
Asia-Pacific forests require balance of conservation, use and trade

ITTO and the World Resources Institute (WRI) led Stream 1 of Asia-Pacific Forestry Week 2016 on the theme “Pathways to prosperity: future trade and markets”, on 23–26 February 2016 in the Philippines. Demographic and economic trends indicate a long-term projected increase in demand for wood fibre in the Asia-Pacific region, while agreements such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership will affect trade in the region. Stream participants agreed that the Asia-Pacific Forestry Commission should support the sustainable use and trade of timber and focus on adopting broader approaches for verifying the legality of forest products, paying particular attention to the needs of small forest enterprises. Download the presentations
Publications from ITTO-funded projects and activities

ITTO Project RED-PD 045/11 Rev.2 (M): “Environmental assessment and economic valuation of ecosystem services provided by coastal forests on the central coastal plain of Veracruz, Mexico” recently released the following publications (available in Spanish):

Results of research conducted under ITTO Project PD 433/06 Rev.3 (I) on thermomechanical processes to enhance the properties of hardwood flooring published in the Brazilian Journal of Wood Science

A diagnosis of tropical forest resources in Mexico (Campeche, Chiapas, Oaxaca, Quintana Roo, Tabasco and Veracruz) is now available (in Spanish only) as an output of ITTO Project PD 351/05 Rev.1 (F): “Criteria and indicators for the evaluation of tropical forest management sustainability in Mexico”

New photos have been posted on the Facebook page of ITTO Project PD 601/11 Rev.3 (F) “Strengthening mangrove ecosystem conservation in the biosphere reserve of northwestern Peru” (the page is in Spanish only)
Tropical Forest Update
The latest edition of the Tropical Forest Update reports on some of the achievements made under an enduring partnership between ITTO and CITES. In early 2005, the CITES Secretariat invited ITTO to collaborate in a joint programme, and the two secretariats worked closely to develop and complete a proposal for donor consideration. Beginning in late 2006, the European Commission, together with other donors, funded the proposal through ITTO’s 2006–2007 work programme. This special edition of the TFU presents some of the outcomes of work undertaken as part of what is now known as the ITTO–CITES Programme for Implementing CITES Listings of Tropical Tree Species.

Read the latest TFU

Top tropical timber market headlines

The latest report by ITTO’s Market information Service features the following news items:
  • Gabon introduces restrictions on air dry sawnwood exports
  • West African producers see up-tick in interest from buyers for the Chinese market
  • Opening doors to private sector investments in Africa’s largest trading block
  • Regional markets to be foundation of Malaysia’s 2016 exports
  • U Ohn Win named Minister of Forestry in Myanmar
  • Forestry appointments in Myanmar suggest policy shift
  • Brazilian timber industry takes advantage of falling real to increase exports
  • Cheap money pouring into the Japan’s housing market
  • Encouraging housing data in China but has the corner been turned?
  • Improving demand for wooden furniture in the EU
Subscribe to the Tropical Timber Market Report (published every two weeks).


ITTO is an intergovernmental organization promoting the conservation and sustainable management, use and trade of tropical forest resources. Its members represent the bulk of the world's tropical forests and of the global tropical timber trade.
Read more about ITTO
Vacancies at ITTO

ITTO Executive Director: deadline for applications is 30 April 2016.
Call for proposals at ITTO

2016 autumn project cycle. Deadline for submissions is 27 May 2016.
Other call for proposals

APFNet launches its 2016 call for project proposals. Deadline for submissions is 30 April 2016.
Upcoming ITTO Events
Caribbean Workshop on Forest Products Statistics organized jointly by ITTO, FAO and CABI
12–14 April 2016
St Augustine, in Trinidad and Tobago
52nd Session of the International Tropical Timber Council and Associated Sessions of the Committees
7–12 November 2016
Yokohama, Japan

ITTO Publications and other media

Tropical Forest Update

Tropical Timber Market Information Service

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Review of the world timber situation

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Policy papers, manuals, & guidelines

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ITTO online project search tool

ITTO’s online project search tool aims to further disseminate, capitalize on and enhance the knowledge gained in SFM through the implementation of more than 1000 projects, pre-projects and activities since the Organization began operations in 1986. Such knowledge is now just a few clicks away at the ITTO website. Go to project search
Selected forest-related websites
European Sustainable Tropical Timber Coalition
Wealth Accounting and the Valuation of Ecosystem Services
Environmental Investigation Agency
Climate Wire
Illegal logging portal
ITTO home page