News & Events

Environment Minister to “make sure the whole body of European environmental law continues to have effect” after Brexit

The Confederation of Timber Industries (CTI) has welcomed a pledge from Environment Minister Dr Thérèse Coffey MP to “make sure the whole body of European environmental law continues to have effect” after Brexit.

The Environment Minister made the commitment at the Timber Industries’ Parliamentary Reception, which took place in the House of Commons last week. The CTI has led the campaign to ensure that EU timber regulations, which have enabled the British timber industry to thrive in recent years, are incorporated into domestic law after the UK leaves the European Union in 2019.

The CTI and its members have been proud to support the Government in its implementation of the EU Timber Regulation (EUTR) and the EU’s Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) initiative. These EU regulations prohibit the selling of illegally logged timber in the EU, including within the UK. This legislation has helped the British industry to grow and to be a world leader in the sustainable trade of timber.

Speaking at the CTI reception, Environment Minister Dr Thérèse Coffey MP said: “When we leave the EU, the Withdrawal Bill will make sure the whole body of European environmental law continues to have effect in UK law.

“This means bringing into UK law two regulations that the UK timber sector played a great role in shaping: the European Union Timber Regulation and the Forest Law Environment Governance and Trade Regulation. I want to thank your industry for your continued commitment to a responsible and sustainable trade in timber.”

Responding to her comments, David Hopkins, Director of the CTI said: “I welcome the Minister’s assurance that the Government will ensure that both the EUTR and FLEGT will continue to operate in the UK after Brexit. The timber industries have worked closely with the Government to lead the development of these EU regulations, which have enabled the UK to become a global champion for responsibly-sourced timber.

“Incorporating the principles underpinning the EUTR and FLEGT into domestic law will enable the UK timber industries to continue to flourish.”

The Parliamentary Reception also represented an excellent opportunity for UK Timber Industry stakeholders and MPs from all sides to gather and engage in a productive debate about the future of the Sector.

On that note, CTI Chairman Roy Wakeman OBE said: “The attendance at the CTI Parliamentary Reception was outstanding for a cold wintery night and there was no doubt about its worth to all that were there.”

“Our commitment to interact with many different MPs of all persuasions was accomplished and we were grateful for all the additional support that the Industry attendance gave us. It was truly a night of Trust all round and a positive thrust forward for our mission.”

The complete speech by Environment Minister Dr Thérèse Coffey MP can be found here.

View the photo gallery of the event here.

 

[News URL: http://cti-timber.org/content/environment-minister-%E2%80%9Cmake-sure-whole-body-european-environmental-law-continues-have-effect%E2%80%9D]

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]

Can wood replace concrete and steel as the go-to building material?

This video by The Economist explores the latest developments in timber construction outlining an intriguing scenario where concrete and steel are replaced by sustainable and eco-friendly wood.

"Wooden skyscrapers are an ambitious and innovative solution to the problems posed by urbanisation," The Economist reports. "Not only are they faster to build, they have smaller carbon footprints than high-rises made of concrete and steel."

 

[News URL: http://cti-timber.org/content/can-wood-replace-concrete-and-steel-go-building-material]

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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