In the presence of the Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, Lilianne Ploumen, representatives of the Dutch timber trade, processing and retail sector, civil society, trade unions and the Dutch government, signed the Promotion of Sustainable Forest Management agreement. This will strengthen the business case for the sustainable management tropical forests, ensure international responsible business throughout the timber value chain, stimulate the market demand for sustainably produced timber and the simplification of administrative rules regarding the use of sustainably produced timber.
The idea of the agreement is simple - well-managed and sustainably used forests provide contribute to local, economic development, climate regulation, biodiversity conservation and resource security. And the potential is equally simple, and powerful, that the combined Dutch timber trade – importation, processing and trade – is estimated at some €15 billion.
“By 2020, the use of sustainably produced timber must become the norm in the Netherlands, and corporate responsibility must be fully integrated into the timber chain” emphasizes Minister Ploumen. “This will also lead to improvements for the environment and labour conditions in producer countries”. Here you can read the press release.
Tropenbos International is one of the 25 signatories. As a knowledge broker on tropical forests, strongly rooted in a range of tropical countries, it plays an important role for in connecting partners in the Netherlands with counterparts in producer countries through evidence-based information and joint actions.
Tropenbos International will coordinate a working group with other signatories towards strengthening the business case for sustainable forest management, analyzing opportunities and challenges, and identifying joint actions to improve social, economic and ecological dimensions. This group will give particular attention to the perspectives, needs and interests of laborers, local producers, farmer associations and indigenous communities and their livelihoods, addressing tenure and labour rights, fair smallholder remuneration, active local participation through inclusive business models, and freedom of union. Also, it will look at the possibilities for multiple-revenue forestry that generates additional returns ‘beyond timber’ thought the payment of environmental services and non-timber forest products.