【ITTO】Initiatives to solve global issues as the only international organization with a mandate focused on tropical forests

A. Case Study Overview

1. Activity/ Project Title:
【ITTO】Initiatives to solve global issues as the only international organization with a mandate focused on tropical forests
2. Themes:
Climate Change, SDGs
3. Summary:  

ITTO’s governing body, the International Tropical Timber Council, appointed Ms Sheam Satkuru by consensus as ITTO’s new Executive Director at its 57th session, which was held virtually from 29 November to 3 December 2021. She won the position from among nearly 50 applicants.

Activity Targets:

1) Proactively seek funding resources to ensure the efficacy of ITTO’s work under the ITTA 2006, contributing to several global challenges
2) Obtain full support from ITTO’s membership
3)To enhance ITTO’s status internationally as the only organization with a mandate focused on tropical forests

4. Sector:
Organization : ITTO All 74 member countries/region
5. Implementation Period:

1989 ~

6. Project Site :
All 74 member countries/region
7. Stakeholders&Partners:
All 74 member countries/region, other international/intergovernmental organizations, civil society and timber trade organizations etc.      

B. Objective:

8. Objectives:
To promote:
1) the expansion and diversification of international trade in tropical timber from sustainably managed and legally harvested forests; and
2) the sustainable management of tropical timber-producing forests.

C. Activities

9. /Activities:


  • Develops internationally agreed policy guidelines and norms to encourage sustainable forest management (SFM) and sustainable tropical timber industries and trade.
  • Assists tropical member countries to adapt such guidelines and norms to local circumstances and to implement them in the field through projects and other activities.
  • Collects, analyzes and disseminates data on the production and trade of tropical timber.
  • Promote sustainable tropical timber supply chains.
  • Enhance capacity-building/training in tropical forestry.

Current projects in Asia-Pacific include enhancing the conservation and sustainable management of teak in the Mekong Subregion; sustainable domestic wood consumption in Viet Nam; management, conservation and sustainable development of the Upper Baram Forest area in Sarawak, Malaysia (to commence later this year); capacity building in forest fire management and prevention in Indonesia, among many others. There are many other ITTO projects recently or about to be concluded in Cambodia, Fiji, Myanmar, Papua New Guinea, Philippines and Thailand.

Photos can be accessed at www.itto.int/projects_photo_gallery/

ITTO logo can be downloaded at www.itto.int/resources/logos/

D. Challenges and solutions:

10. Challenges and solutions:

Tropical forestry & tropical timber/wood products face several challenges. The main ones are:
Being locked in a battle for market share with metals, concrete and plastics, as well as non-tropical woods. In some markets, perceptions of tropical forestry as a cause of deforestation continues to hinder the sector. The biggest challenge is to convince consumers that harvesting tropical timber sustainably is not deforestation.

Other challenges include placing sustainable tropical forestry as a central solution to climate-change mitigation and adaptation; increase the consumption of sustainably produced tropical wood products as an effective mean to combat climate-change and contribute to the achievement of several of the Sustainable Development Goals, in particular SDG 1 (no poverty), SDG 5 (gender equality), SDG 8 (decent work and economic growth), SDG 9 (industry, innovation and infrastructure), SDG 12 (responsible production and consumption), SDG 13 (climate action), SDG 15 (life on land) and SDG 17 (partnerships for the goals) ; securing sufficient financial resources to implement sustainable forest management in the tropics; enhance the support and commitment of the entire ITTO membership in enhancing the Organization as a leader in sustainable forestry in the tropics.

E. Outcomes and Impacts:

11. Outcomes&Impacts:

ITTO is an action and field-oriented organization with more than 35 years of experience. It has funded and assisted in the implementation of more than 1200 projects and other activities to the value of US$430 million, addressing the many aspects of SFM, such as forest restoration; wood-use efficiency; the competitiveness of wood products; market intelligence and transparency in the tropical timber trade and tropical timber supply chains; forest law enforcement and governance; illegal logging; biodiversity conservation; climate-change mitigation and adaptation; the contributions of non-timber forest products and environmental services; and the livelihoods of forest-dependent communities.


Specific impacts of the projects mentioned under section 9, include:

  • The establishment of teak sustainable supply chains, that are improving the livelihoods of local communities in the Mekong Subregion. Natural teak forests cover an area of about 29 million hectares across central and southern India, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR), Myanmar and Thailand.
  • Forest fires —aggravated by drought conditions and heatwaves—is a major cause of forest loss and degradation. The fire management project in Indonesia is being implemented in three regions especially vulnerable to forest fire—South Sumatera, Central and South Kalimantan, involving all stakeholders. Expected outputs are several, including reduction in the incidence of forest fire and associated forest loss, improved fire prevention and management, early-response protocols and improved firefighting and early warning capacity.
  • In Sarawak’s Heart of Borneo, Malaysia, 18 Penan communities established in 2010 the Penan Peace Park (PPP), covering 283,500 ha of forests in Upper Baram to overcome land tenure issues and improve livelihoods. The project aims to establish an integrated forest management plan to enhance forest conservation by zoning the various land-use areas, introduce sustainable economic livelihoods and improve rural practices.
  • The project in Viet Nam will address the country’s dependence on wood imports for its processing industry by catalysing/facilitating initiatives/processes towards improvement of regulatory framework and building capacity for relevant stakeholder groups to engage effectively in wood supply chains.

F. Budget:

12. Budget:

13. Source: