On 25th July 2008 IUCN China co-sponsored a meeting entitled Forest Law Enforcement and Governance in the Global Context with the Chinese State Forestry Administration (SFA). This presented an opportunity to share information, as well as concerns, on the latest forest governance developments in some major export markets and producer countries, such as the FLEGT initiative and the forthcoming Lacey Act.
The meeting consisted of 26 participants from SFA, industry associations and other major international organizations, such as Forest Trends and WWF China. This was another positive sign from China of its growing engagement with international initiatives that promote sustainable forest management. Chinese government and NGO representatives have participated in other FLEG processes, including the 2001 EAP-FLEG Ministerial meeting in Bali, the 2005 ENA-FLEG meeting in St Petersburg, and the EU-China Conference on Forest Law Enforcement and Governance (Beijing, 19-20 September 2007).
China is now the world’s second largest timber consumer. As the country is playing an increasingly important role in the global forest products trade, it is also increasingly concerned about the sustainability of forests. For example, as a key supplier of the global forest products market, China increasingly relies on timber imports to support its growing timber processing industry. By 2005, the volume of imports (134 million cubic meters measured in RWE) had already caught up with the official levels of domestic industrial round wood removals.1 China is also a major exporter of finished forest products to Europe and the United States.
Participants from various organizations gave presentations, which were followed by open and vigorous discussions. One of the major outcomes of the meeting was the communal drafting of a list of strategies which will be distributed to all important stakeholders for their consideration, some of the strategic points listed was a greater need for information sharing and capacity building.
For more information, please contact:
IUCN China Liaison Office
Ms Dong Ke, Forest Programme Officer
Ms Li Jia, Forest Programme Officer
· IUCN Global Forest Programme page: http://www.iucn.org/forest
· IUCN China page: www.iucn.org/china
· EU FLEG/FLEGT initiative: http://ec.europa.eu/environment/forests/flegt.htm
· China Sustainable Forest Management: http://www.sfmchina.cn/
· Forest Products Trade Between China & Africa: An Analysis of Imports & Exports by Kerstin Canby, James Hewitt, Luke Bailey, Eugenia Katsigris and Sun Xiufang
1 White, A. et al, 2006,: China and the Global Market for Forest Products Transforming Trade to Benefit
Forests and Livelihoods, Forest Trends.