Industry News

Illegal logging: China makes progress towards national Timber Legality Verification Scheme

The Illegal logging update and stakeholder consultation meeting held by Chatham House on 16-17 June provided an interesting overview on the developments of China Timber Legality Verification Scheme (CLTVS).

The Chinese delegation - composed by Chen Shaozhi from the Research Institute of Forestry Policy and Information at Chinese Academy of Forestry and Xu Bin, from Research Institute of Forestry Policy and Information at Chinese Academy of Forestry - explained background, progresses and impact of CTVLS in China.

The CTLVS is a government-led, voluntary and DD-based scheme, aimed to combat illegal logging, regulate timber products production in China and meet the global timber legality requirements. Through the scheme, China intends to "effectively and easily operating system to help the business trace and manage their supply chains for timber legality."

Main findings of the presentations include:

  • China has launched CTLVS standard piloting tests to verify quality managements requirements, information access, risk evaluation and risk mitigation tools
  • The preliminary five piloting tests have shown an improved understanding of legality among pilot companies and better capacity to exercise due diligence and legality
  • China is exploring mutual recognition mechanism through bi & multilateral dialogues with a wide range of trade partners (i.e. China's initiative on MRM in APEC EGLAT meeting in Qingao, 2014 or APEC legality guide).
  • CTLVS has gained increasing attentions from Chinese industry associations, CBs, CSOs and businesses. In particular CNFPIA and other associations have strong willingness to promote and implement CTLVS among their members, while a number of export-oriented companies, particularly SMEs, has casted concerns on the impact of the legality verification scheme

China is one of the world’s largest importers, consumers and exporters of wood-based products. According to the Illegal Logging portal, "the country’s demand for timber doubled over the period 2000-12, to supply both domestic and export markets, and this demand has been met increasingly by imports. In 2013, over 15% of imports of wood-based products were estimated to be illegal."

Find out more here.

 

[News URL: http://www.cti-timber.org/content/illegal-logging-china-makes-progress-towards-national-timber-legality-verification-scheme]

Danish students scoop top prize in TRADA timber design competition

This year’s TRADA National Student Design Competition - dubbed 'Arboreal' - saw the triumph of a cutting-edge timber structure inspired by nature.

The winning design – called ‘The Leaf’ – was created by students Laila Alawneh and Yliana Cristova from Aalborg University in Denmark. The judges were unanimous in their choice of the winner, which blended the performance characteristics of timber with a highly decorative aesthetic.

Laila and Yliana beat off strong competition from students from the University of Coventry, Wolverhampton University, University of Strathclyde and Edinburgh University, although so impressed were the judges by the standard of entries this year that they awarded not one but two ‘Highly Commended’ prizes.

NSDC 2016 challenged student designers to explore the science of timber as a modern construction material for a design for an exciting Wood Centre run by tree and forestry charity, The Sylva Foundation. University of Coventry’s Piotr A Bieluga and Adam Cross, from Wolverhampton University, both picked up Highly Commended awards, while students from Edinburgh University won Best Use of British Timber for their entry, entitled Group 9. 

Run by TRADA’s University Engagement Programme, the NSDC competition is supported by generous sponsorship from Arch Timber Protection, the Timber Trade Federation and Timbmet. The total prize package was worth £5,000.

The design brief included creating a new two-storey timber structure to serve as a multi use building, housing offices, seminar space, exhibition space and a field laboratory.

In the new design students had to reflect the ethos and vision of the charity. At the same time, they needed to incorporate cutting-edge materials and technologies throughout to act as inspiration to visitors and users and create a sustainable building both with the materials they propose and long term usage of the new building.

Charlie Law, from Sustainable Construction Solutions Ltd, was one of the judges. He said: "I thought all of the finalist’s produced excellent entries, each of which covered the brief in the main in their own way. The winning entry, however, was one of the most striking entries, using CLT (or Glulam) to produce a church like structure that really caught the judges’ eye."

“The detail the students had gone into to find the best orientation for the natural lighting of the exhibition space, and modelling of various forms to ensure it would work structurally, was admirable. A very well worked entry, and a unanimous winner from the judges.”

Commenting on their winning entry, Laila and Yliana said: “The most challenging part [of the brief] was to provide a cutting edge timber structure that was not only high in performance but also decorative. We wanted to take the design to a height where it would challenge the plasticity of timber with a creative design solution that shows the beauty of natural forms."

“We clearly understood that this structure was required to stand out as a showcase of how flexible it is to use timber in construction, one that would break the traditional conception most people have of buildings made of timber.”

 

[News URL: http://www.cti-timber.org/content/danish-students-scoop-top-prize-trada-timber-design-competition]

Spread of larch disease is slowing down in Wales, aerial study shows

Natural Resources Wales has released aerial footage of forests and woods around Wales showing that the spread of deadly tree disease P.Ramorum (Phytophthora Ramorum) is down on last years’ findings.

The assessment follows two spring flights in May over North and South Wales that surveyed woodlands and forests. Around 40 sites were seen to be showing signs of suspected infection and will be further investigated.

The figure is lower than was found following last years’ flight when nearly 30 suspect sites were found on Welsh Government Woodland Estate alone, as well as another 20 sites on private land.

Lajla Cash, Tree Health Planning Officer at Natural Resources Wales, said: “Compared to previous years the spread of P. Ramorum last year was fairly minor. We will be visiting the sites identified in the flights this year over the next few weeks to find out whether P Ramorum is present."

"We expected a significant increase in infection due to the wet and windy weather in late summer and early autumn. But that has not proved to be the case so far," Ms Cash added. 

Since March, Natural Resources Wales has been inviting visitors and workers of forests and woodlands to help tackle the spread of P Ramorum and other diseases by pointing out possible hotbeds and respecting simple hygienical rules. The campaign, called #Keepitclean highlights how visitors and workers can safeguard forests and woodlands future by heeding simple advice.

Ms Cash commented: “It’s not just P.Ramorum, there are a number of pests and diseases that threaten Wales’ woodlands. And one of the ways they can infect a healthy forest is by being transferred by the mud and debris on people’s boots, car or bicycle tyres or even on a dog’s paws. We are asking people to take a few minutes before visiting a woodland to clean dirt and mud off boots, tyres, kit and pets. We hope that checking and cleaning before every woodland visit will become a habit.”

A further aerial flight will take place later this summer.

For more information on #Keepitclean campaign click here.

 

[News URL: http://www.cti-timber.org/content/spread-larch-disease-slowing-down-wales-aerial-study-shows]

FAO World’s Forests report 2016: 'No need to cut down forests to produce more food'

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has released its State of the World’s Forests 2016 (SOFO) report.

The publication - downloadable here - highlights the major role played by forests in sustainable agricultural development through a host of channels, including the water cycle, soil conservation, carbon sequestration, natural pest control, influencing local climates and providing habitat protection for pollinators and other species.

According to FAO, there is an "urgent need to promote more positive interactions between agriculture and forestry to build sustainable agricultural systems and improve food security."

The same message was underlined by  FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva in his opening remarks to the Committee on Forestry: "The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, as well as the Paris Agreement on climate change, recognizes that we can no longer look at food security and the management of natural resources separately. Both agreements call for a coherent and integrated approach to sustainability across all agricultural sectors and food systems. Forests and forestry have key roles to play in this regard"

"The key message from SOFO is clear: it is not necessary to cut down forests to produce more food," Mr da Silva added. 

According to the report, in the tropics and subtropics, large-scale commercial agriculture and local subsistence agriculture are responsible for about 40 percent and 33 percent of forest conversion, respectively, and the remaining 27 percent of deforestation happens due to urban growth, infrastructure expansion and mining.

On the flip side of the coin, the report stresses that forests serve many vital ecological functions that benefit agriculture and boost food production.

"Food security can be achieved through agricultural intensification and other measures such as social protection, rather than through expansion of agricultural areas at the expense of forests," said Eva Müller, Director of FAO's Forestry Policy and Resources Division. "What we need is better cross-sectoral coordination of policies on agriculture, forestry, food and land use, better land use planning, effective legal frameworks, and stronger involvement of local communities and smallholders."

Ms Müller added: "Governments should provide local communities not only with secure land tenure but also with secure forest tenure rights. A farmer knows best how to manage his or her own resources but often lacks legal instruments to do so."

About 2.4 billion people rely on woodfuel for cooking and water sterilization worldwide. Forest foods provide protein, minerals and vitamins to rural diets and can also serve as safety nets in periods of food scarcity.

According to SOFO, since 1990, over 20 countries succeeded in improving national levels of food security while at the same time maintaining or increasing forest cover demonstrating that it is not necessary to cut down forests to produce more food", says the report. Twelve of these countries increased forest cover by over 10 percent: Algeria, Chile, China, the Dominican Republic, the Gambia, Islamic Republic of Iran, Morocco, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, Uruguay, Viet Nam.

"Their successes all relied on a similar set of tools: effective legal frameworks, secure land tenure, measures to regulate land-use change, policy incentives for sustainable agriculture and forestry, adequate funding, and clear definition of roles and responsibilities of governments and local communities."

Further information is available here.

 

[News URL: http://www.cti-timber.org/content/fao-world%E2%80%99s-forests-report-2016-no-need-cut-down-forests-produce-more-food]

Snows Timber launches Twitter Campaign to collect & share wood history pictures

Snows Timber, one of the leading UK importers, processors and distributors of timber products, is asking merchant customers to share pictures of any summer-time wood history ‘finds’ through @SnowsTimber on Twitter.

“We’re launching this campaign to tie in with a great piece of wood history that’s re-opening today: the new Mary Rose ship museum on Portsmouth Historic Dockyard,” says Snows’ Sales Director Andy Jones.

“Henry VIII’s Mary Rose sank on the 19th July 1545. Its rediscovery shows how many different uses there were for wood products in times past. We’d like customers to share their wood history ‘finds’ during the summer. We have a limited number of copies of ‘The Mary Rose Revealed’, published by the Mary Rose museum, to thank them for sharing their pictures with the Snows community online,” Andy Jones adds.

Merchant customers can tweet their summer holiday wood history pictures to @SnowsTimber or e-mail them, with their permission to share online, to: [email protected].

The campaign will continue until the end of August.

[Picture courtesy of Steve Foote]

 

[News URL: http://www.cti-timber.org/content/snows-timber-launches-twitter-campaign-collect-share-wood-history-pictures]

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