Conclusion of the 4th Forum on Trade of Legal and Sustainable Wood in China

The 4th Forum on Trade of Legal and Sustainable Wood in China took place from 21-22 April 2009 in Beijing. It was co-organized by IUCN-China and Forest Trends, and was made possible by the support from the UK Department for International Development (DFID). For this 4th meeting, TRAFFIC contributed a session to discuss trans-boundary customs cooperation to control illegal logging.

The 4th Forum on Trade of Legal and Sustainable Wood in China

The meeting was attended by 90 participants, including senior government representatives, industry associations, businesses and civil societies. The forum offered updates and exchanges on legislative initiatives in US and Europe, progress on FLEGT/VPAs, regional initiatives, and developments of overseas markets for certified wood products. The forum also discussed about China-Africa timber trade and trans-boundary customs cooperation.

Participants responded that they considered the forum most informative on the latest international regulations on wood products, including the EC Due Diligence Legislation, the Lacey Acts and FLEGT/VPAs. Following talks on the enforcement of the Due Diligence Legislation and the Lacey Acts, participants were active in seeking clarification regarding their implications for China.

The panel discussion on China’s initiative included a thorough introduction to China’s efforts in advancing the production and trade of legal timber. It presented the country’s standpoint, principles, and actions against illegal logging both domestically and internationally. It is suggested that this presentation is the first comprehensive presentation on illegal logging from a governmental representative in China.

Other significant panel discussions included the trans-boundary customs cooperation session. It illuminated some of the obvious statistical discrepancies between exporting and importing countries in Asia, and stimulated discussion for ways to improve records, such as increasing the accuracy in product and origin identification, and requesting the submission of matching export/import forms.

The forum was very well received. IUCN and Forest Trends have been running the series dialogue on the Trade of Legal and Sustainable Wood in China since 2007. The forum series aims to establish a regular and open meeting place for constructive discussions about the international trade of sustainable and legal forest products between key producers, manufacturing and consumer countries. The forum is a place to share new research findings and updates on related initiatives. It has grown to become an important platform for stakeholders to share ideas and work together to facilitate the implementation legal wood solutions in China.

Presentation and discussion notes from the 4th forum:
You may download all PowerPoint presentations from the forum here:

The 5th forum is expected to take place at the end of 2009. For more information, please contact the IUCN China Forest Programme Officer Ms. LI Jia (

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