Industry News

Illegal logging: EU FLEGT Facility issues information brief on EU-China Bilateral Coordination Mechanism

The EU FLEGT Facility has published a new information brief - available here - about the EU-China Bilateral Coordination Mechanism on Forest Law Enforcement and Governance.

The EU-China Bilateral Coordination Mechanism (BCM) on Forest Law Enforcement and Governance was established in 2009 and represents a forum for policy dialogue as well as a mechanism for sharing information on policies and legal frameworks and for coordinating initiatives aimed to stop illegal logging and associated trade. 

Under the BCM, China and the EU explore approaches to recognising the legality verification schemes for timber and timber products of timber-exporting countries, including those from countries participating in FLEGT Voluntary Partnership Agreements (VPAs). This includes a trilateral dialogue between China, Indonesia and the EU.

The two parties to the BCM are also supporting the further development of the Chinese Timber Legality Verification System (CTLVS), taking into consideration EU experiences with the EU Timber Regulation (EUTR) and in countries that are negotiating, or have signed, VPAs.

China and the EU are also working to identify policy and research priorities as well as conducting studies to improve information exchange and policy dialogue on the trade in timber and timber products between China and neighbouring countries.

China is represented by the State Forestry Administration and the EU is represented by the Directorate-General for Environment of the European Commission under the BCM.

For more information about the BCM, and an overview of current and past activities, visit


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State of UK Timber Market under lens in Tilhill Forestry Bulletin

Tilhill Forestry has published its new Timber Bulletin providing commentary and interpretation on key themes affecting the UK timber market.

The report explains that, while prices were down during 2015 for small roundwood, logs and standing timber, the first half of 2016 has seen a rebound driven mostly by the sawn fencing market and the weakened Sterling.

The vote to leave the EU and the potential impact of Brexit are also discussed in the Bulletin. The report states that the vote has created uncertainty in the market making timber imports more expensive. That could provide a boost for UK sawmilling compensating sector's vulnerability to economy and exchange rates.

Biomass and the panel sector seem to be less exposed to economic uncertainty although biomass will be hit hard by the reforms to the Renewable Heath Initiative (RHI) targeting residential and small commercial installations.

Another concern underlined in the Bulletin regards the insufficient tree plantation policy. Figures show that the private sector is dominating supply at more than double the state sectors combined. Even though the trend is set to continue, the forecast decline in availability of timber in the period 2027-31 is of concern to processors and growers alike.

Peter Whitfield, Timber Operations Director, commented: “The report clearly illustrates that the last year has been a turbulent one with many parts of our industry being negatively affected. However, it is not all doom and gloom; in the context of the global average, the UK has performed strongly and with exchange rates likely to be in our favour, it is forecast to continue to do so in comparison with other countries.”

To read and download a copy of the report click here.

Tilhill Forestry Ltd - a wholly owned subsidiary of the BSW Timber Group - is a national company providing a full range of consultancy and contracting services to UK forest owner and forestry investor.


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PEFC UK publishes presentations from its Annual Stakeholder Meeting 2016

Presentations and insight form the PEFC Annual Stakeholder Day 2016 are now available on PEFC UK website here.

The event - held on Tuesday 5th of July at the Society of Chemical Industry in London - saw relevant contributions by Ignacio Gavilan, Director of Sustainability for the influential global industry group, the Consumer Goods Forum (CGF), Martyn White of the John Lewis Partnership, Steve Cook of Willmott Dixon, Riikka Joukio of Metsäboard and the WBCSD Forest Solutions Group and Sarah Price, Head of Projects & Development.

Main findings of the Annual Stakeholder Day include:

  • PEFC has released over 17 500 Chain of Custody certifications in 62 countries covering more than 285 Million hectares of forest worldwide
  • Certified forest area has grown +4% in the past 3 years
  • Annual demand for industrial wood is expected to grow constantly in the near future
  • Developing standards that are both achievable and stretching will be an ongoing challenge
  • Certification plays a key role in brand value and recognition
  • Collaboration through trade bodies creates a strong common voice
  • Make Legal and Sustainable sourcing is a key requisite for any fit out or new build projects

For more information, please contact Hilary Khawam at [email protected].


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FSC Permanent Indigenous Peoples Committee calls for switch in forest economics

During its seventh meeting held in on 7–9 June 2016 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, the Permanent Indigenous Peoples Committee (PIPC) of FSC called for a change in forest economics, urging Forestry Industry stakeholders to move away from extraction towards “hope generation” via investment in indigenous cultural landscapes.

Such areas are becoming centres of indigenous-led forest management and local manufacturing, with ecosystem service management guaranteed by FSC certification.

The meeting - hosted by representatives of the Orang Asal in Malaysia - brought together Indigenous Peoples from Tanzania, Canada, Japan, Nicaragua and Scandinavia.

The PIPC was launched in 2013 in order to implement the collaboration among FSC and indigenous communities around the world under the criteria of equality in the relationship, fair reciprocity in the exchange of ideas and expertise, mutual learning and the joint development of appropriate tools for facilitating the certification of forest management.


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Confor Chief on Brexit: 'Engaging effectively to shape the future of new UK forestry sector'

In the aftermath of the EU Referendum vote, Stuart Goodall, Chief Executive of the Confederation of Forest Industries (Confor), has expressed his vision of the UK forestry sector in a blog post significantly entitled 'All change, all change!'.

"During times of change it is those who engage most effectively who shape both the destination and the means of getting there. For the forestry and timber sector we're not going to determine what the trade relationship is with the EU, but we can and should get out there and explain to politicians and those who advise and influence them on how to protect and promote the sector", wrote Mr Goodall.

"For that we need clear messages and priorities, and a co-ordinated effort to get those points over through repeated activity. Confor produced an analysis of the key issues ahead of the referendum and is now updating that to identify what the sector needs - the questions that need answered, the actions that need to be taken."

"This will take a little time, and we have that, not least because Labour and the Tories are engulfed in leadership speculation. But the sooner we can begin the better", Mr Goodall concluded.

In this context, the next meeting of the Westminster All-Party Parliamentary Group on Forestry (APPGF) on July 12th will discuss what the Leave vote means and office-bearers from the APPGF have been briefed by Confor.


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