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July 2016                                                                                       
Recently trained: Voluntary forest brigades in Panama after the training course on integrated fire management. Photo: MIAMBIENTE

Keep moving

We are rapidly moving into the second half of the year, and with it I am very pleased to share with you visible results from the implementation of ITTO projects and activities. As many readers are already aware, ITTO is currently facing a difficult financial situation, which has already impacted some on-going projects. We trust that the high commitment of our partners (as shown by the excellent results reported here) will allow the Organization to continue its important work to promote SFM.
In this edition of Tropical Forest News, you will read how ITTO funded projects are bringing benefits to countries such as Panama, which has now improved its capacity to control and monitor wildfires and to conduct integrated fire management. You will also find out how a successful timber tracking system implemented in Guatemala is being promoted at the international level, so that forest governance may be improved across borders; while you will learn that in Ghana social awareness has been raised for a positive and proactive change of attitude towards forest law compliance.  Research results reported here also show the conservation value of flooded forests, mangroves and wetlands for coastal populations in Mexico.
On the policy side, ITTO is collaborating with the World Customs Organization and the government and private sector of Malaysia for the development of timber trade guidelines to assist frontline customs authorities in their work. Also on the trade side, ITTO recently jointly convened a workshop with FAO to strengthen the forest statistics capacities of Caribbean countries.  Finally you will also find here the latest headlines from ITTO’s Market Information Service and Tropical Forest Update.
I wish you enjoyable reading,
Steven Johnson

ITTO contributes to strengthening integrated fire management in the tropical forests of Panama
On 10 June 2016, Panama’s Ministry of Environment jointly with ITTO inaugurated a brand new lookout tower for control and monitoring of wildfires built by the ITTO funded project PD 441/07 Rev.2 (F). The project has strengthened the country’s capacities in prevention, management and control of forest fires. The project implemented integrated fire management practices with the participation of local communities and grassroots organizations. Read more
Keeping timber trade legal, Malaysia’s customs officers given a helping hand

More than 100 customs officers, forestry officials, timber trade enforcement and private sector representatives from across Malaysia met in May 2016 to develop timber trade guidelines to assist frontline customs authorities in their work at a national workshop organized by the Ministry of Plantations Industries and Commodities (MPIC), Malaysian Timber Industry Board (MTIB), Royal Malaysian Customs and TRAFFIC, in collaboration with the World Customs Organization (WCO) and ITTO, as part of the Organization’s Biennial Work Programme for the years 2015-2016. Read more
Improving forest products statistics in the Caribbean

ITTO, FAO and the Centre for Agriculture and Biosciences International (CABI) held a regional workshop on forest products statistics for the Caribbean region in Saint Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago, in April 2016. The aim of the workshop was to strengthen the statistical collection, analysis and reporting abilities of countries in the region. Participants came from Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago. Read more
Guatemala’s timber traceability systems developed with support from ITTO, were highlighted at a recent international workshop organized by WRI, INAB and IUCN Mesoamerica

Timber traceability systems and other electronic tools to improve governance within Guatemala’s forestry sector, as well as other international experiences, were featured at the recent international workshop “Innovative Technologies for Wood-based Products-Traceability and Supply Chain Transparency”. Systems such as the Electronic Forest Enterprises Information System (Sistema Electrónico de Información de Empresas Forestales—SEINEF developed through ITTO project TMT-PD 004/11 Rev.2 (M)—) presented how technology could be applied to automate forest-related processes, minimize response times, standardize forms, clarify procedures, avoid data duplication, minimize human error, limit officers’ discretionary powers and bureaucracy, while at the same time help in monitoring and controlling the flow of forest products. See the presentation
Videos & publications from ITTO-funded projects and activities
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:
  • Brexit to impact tropical imports in the short term
  • Convergence of factors drives sapele and sipo prices lower
  • Endorsement for Malaysia’s latest MC&I for forest plantations
  • Indonesian FLEGT wood products possible by year end
  • Association says Bolivia’s new import regulations disadvantage Brazilian furniture exporters
  • Labour shortage hits Chinese manufacturers
  • Fourth consecutive decline in US hardwood plywood imports
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
Upcoming ITTO Events
52nd Session of the International Tropical Timber Council and Associated Sessions of the Committees
7–12 November 2016
Yokohama, Japan

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Review of the world timber situation

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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
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