Industry News

BVRio and Ghana Forestry Commission host Responsible Timber Trade Fair in Accra

As part of its mission to promote legal and certified timber from tropical countries, the Brazilian NGO BVRio, in collaboration with the Timber Industry Development Division (TIDD) of the Ghana Forestry Commission, launched the Responsible Timber Trade Fair (www.bvriotradefairs.org) at the 22nd Ghana International Trade Fair which opened in Accra yesterday.

The event - to close tomorrow 2 March 2018 - features exhibit stands for timber companies to promote their products and a two-day Conference on the Legal and Certified Timber Trade, with an impressive selection of Ghanaian and International speakers.

Conference topics include: the status, challenges and next steps of the FLEGT-VPA process in Ghana, Liberia, Cameroon and Côte d’lvoire; an overview of timber sector in each of these countries; and the requirements of buyers from China and the EU.

The second day of the Conference will host the launch of the Ghana Wood Tracking System (GWTS) Public Portal, developed by Civic Response in conjunction with the Forestry Commission. The purpose of the portal is to enhance due diligence processes and demonstrate the transparency and credibility of the Ghana Legality Assurance Scheme.

The illegal trade of tropical timber is one of the main drivers of environmental degradation, human rights abuses and corruption. To tackle illegality in the sector and support the trade of legal timber, international legislation such as the EU Timber Regulation (EU TR), the US Lacey Act, and the Australia Illegal Logging Prohibition Act have been developed.

Thus, the objective of the fair is to promote and expose timber companies that embrace legality and the FLEGT-VPA process, and certification, to timber traders from the EU and China. BVRio expects that the Responsible Timber Trade Fair will raise awareness about timber legality and help to generate an increase in the international demand for legally and sustainably sourced timber products from West and Central Africa.

 

[News URL: http://cti-timber.org/content/bvrio-and-ghana-forestry-commission-host-responsible-timber-trade-fair-accra]

Bidwells release Winter 2017 Timber Price Database

Property Consultants Bidwells have released their Winter 2017 Timber Price Database.

The report collates data returns from 75 sales transactions covering almost 615,000 cubic metres of timber traded predominantly in Scotland as well as Northern England and Wales, during the period April to September (inclusive) 2017.  

With a standing value to growers of over £14,000,000 the results provide a reasonable snapshot of timber prices achieved in the private sector during the reporting period.

When compared to the returns in a previous report (October 2016 to March 2017), there looks to be little significant change in prices paid.

The range of prices being achieved for individual lots of similar average tree size is vast, and this will depend on factors such as species, timber quality, location and ease of working.

In order to arrive at a more rounded and reliable view on the subject, a greater number of samples would be desirable, allowing more in-depth analysis of the figures to be carried out.

Further data shows there is a lot of coniferous timber being felled in the private sector, and this sample reflects only a small proportion of it.

Reports are produced on a sixth monthly basis and new contributors are welcome. All information is treated in the strictest confidence.

To view the full insights and research, please click for the report here.

 

[News URL: http://cti-timber.org/content/bidwell-releases-winter-2017-timber-price-database]

NEPCon and RACert to form world's largest mission-driven certification body

After two decades of close partnership, the non-profit certification bodies NEPCon and RACert (the certification division of the Rainforest Alliance) have announced their intention to join later this year.

The transaction is subject to agreement on final terms, which the parties expect to finalize later this year.

The combined organisation, which will operate under the name of NEPCon, will continue to offer services that both NEPCon and RA-Cert have been delivering in forestry, agriculture, responsible sourcing, biomass, carbon footprinting, and tourism.

“NEPCon and RA-Cert share similar values, including a commitment to credibility at the heart of our services. We already have closely aligned management structures, systems and working procedures, as well as long-standing trust across the two organisations. RA-Cert complements our existing capacities and geographical areas, and we are excited to have the RA-Cert team join NEPCon," said Peter Feilberg, Executive Director of NEPCon.

The RA-Cert/NEPCon union will have over 200 staff and a wide network of consultants working worldwide, delivering services on six continents.

"The current RA-Cert and NEPCon geographies and services are complementary to each other, and together will drive greater reach and impact,” said Feilberg.

The union will enable NEPCon to better drive impact and reach its mission. The organization will be well-equipped to provide services to large international corporations with global supply chains in agricultural and forest products, as well as engage more with smallholders and community enterprises that are important drivers of impact on the ground.

“RA-Cert has played a key role in driving the Rainforest Alliance's vision of a world where nature is protected and biodiversity flourishes; where farmers, workers, and communities prosper; and where responsible land use and business practices are the norm," said Rainforest Alliance Chief Executive Officer, Han de Groot.

"The acquisition of the RA-Cert program by NEPCon is the right solution to maintain the credibility and independence of the RA-Cert certification and auditing services. We look forward to continuing to collaborate with NEPCon in a variety of areas in the future.”

For more info, click here.

 

[News URL: http://www.cti-timber.org/content/nepcon-and-racert-form-worlds-largest-mission-driven-certification-body]

A look inside Bloomberg’s European HQ in London containing over 39,000 m2 of American red oak

Designed by a Foster + Partners team, led by Norman Foster himself, the stunning Bloomberg’s European HQ in London contains over 39,000 m2 of American red oak.

The massive structure has scored high on the environmental front, achieving a record BREEAM rating for an office development of 98.5%.

Making the building more significant for red oak still, project architect Michael Jones said the timber is not used in any token, decorative way. It’s core to the interior aesthetics and to delivering on the designers’ wellbeing and environmental goals. It’s also used in considerable quantities – 37,160 m2 for the floor alone.

To answer the question why wood in the first place, and so much of it, Mr. Jones tracks back to initial conversations with Bloomberg CEO Michael Bloomberg. “Previously the company has occupied existing commercial space, but establishing their European headquarters, they felt, deserved something bespoke and tailored to the way they operate,” he said.

“As well as expressing this through the architecture itself and while wanting the building to be very much of its own time, they also wanted it to be very contextual and historically rooted in its place through the palette of materials. Hence the extensive use of bronze and Derbyshire stone – 9,000 tonnes of it – but equally timber, all of which you see quite typically around London. The task was to take these materials and use them in a fresh, innovative way.”

Sustainability also led Foster to timber. “By this we mean not only that timber is renewable, energy efficient, carbon rich and all those other good things, but that it helps achieve sustainability in the broadest sense,” said Jones. “The sustainability of a building is also about the wellbeing of people – and people feel better in a place featuring natural materials.”

For more information, see AHEC press release here.

 

[News URL: http://cti-timber.org/content/look-inside-bloomberg%E2%80%99s-european-hq-london-containing-over-39000-m2-american-red-oak]

Progress towards establishment of National Timber Certification Council in Nigeria

On 20 January 2018, with the directional help of Remi Sournia, Projects & Development Officer at PEFC, the Nigerian hardwood trading company BlackCamel Energy Ltd organised the first National Stakeholders information meeting on Sustainable Forest Management in Nigeria through certification at Nandas Hotel, Sagamu, Nigeria.

At the meeting, Joseph Olajide, Chairman of BlackCamel Energy Ltd, informed the stakeholders on the critical situation of Nigeria's forests affected by widespread illegal logging and endangered woods' trading.

The meeting's attendees unanimously agreed that Nigeria needs a National Timber Certification Council that will help in managing and certifying the country's forest. Details of the pledge were laid out in a letter to the Nigerian Minister of Environment, available here.

"The awareness of the need for sustainable forest management is worldwide but agreement on the potential role of timber certification in achieving this goal is by no means equally widespread," the briefing underlines.

"Any viable timber certification scheme will need to be seen to be credible, objective with measurable criteria, reliable and independent and, most important, covering all types of timber." 

"Participation must be voluntary, non-discriminatory in nature and adaptable to local conditions, cost effective, practical and transparent. So far, timber and forest products certification has not been applied on a wide enough basis to prove its practicality in application, its effect on the market or its contribution to good stewardship of the forest. The issue remains highly political in nature and will no doubt continue to be a subject of active international and intergovernmental debate for some time before a solution is found."

Finally, the meeting's attendees also committed to form a Forest Product Association of Nigeria (FPAN) with the aim of checking all activities of forest users and promoting Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) across the country. All FPAN members will actively engage in tree planting to be monitored by the Forestry Institute of Nigeria (FRIN).

According to Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), less than 10% of Nigeria’s land is now covered by forests and only 20,000 hectares of the country’s primary forests remain. There have been high rates of deforestation in the country; the annual rate was 5% between 2010 and 2015. Find out more here.

 

[News URL: http://cti-timber.org/content/progress-towards-establishment-national-timber-certification-council-nigeria]

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