The Global Timber Forum is an international communications and networking hub for timber trade federations, national and regional industry bodies, and others in and associated with the sector.
Its goals are to:
- provide a conduit for disseminating news, views and information
- facilitate industry-wide coordination and collaboration
- discuss and promote international consistency in policy and legislation
- create a channel for sharing best practice
- and provide a support and general discussion network through its live, interactive Forum section
A launch summit to refine the concept took place in Rome hosted by the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the UN, the European Timber Trade Federation and The Forest Trust/Tropical Trade Action Plan. It was attended by over industry organization delegates from over 40 countries worldwide.
This resulted in a roadmap for the GTF. Among other things, this laid out the four key themes where news coverage and discussions would primarily focus;
- Valuing The Forest Resource – developments that create added value in the wood supply chain, communicating the economic sustainability of timber use and the role of sustainable timber production in maintaining forests
- Market Legality Requirements – improving awareness and understanding of national and international anti-illegal timber regulation and helping coordinate trade responses to it
- Promoting Wood Products – sharing best practice, ideas, and campaign material for promoting and marketing timber and wood products
- Realising New Opportunities – news and information on latest timber technical developments, with a key focus on application of timber and wood products in the growing global green building market
The GTF also formed an international panel of industry organisation representatives, which drafted and distributed a Statement of Commitment to other potential supporters worldwide. This comprises Andreas von Möller (for Europe), Robbie Weich (South America), Francoise van de Ven (Africa), Sheam Satkuru-Granzella (Asia), Cindy Squires (North America), Liu Nengwen (China), John Halkett (Oceania).
“The role of the Global Timber Forum is particularly pertinent at a time when globally the timber industry is pushing hard to develop sophisticated wood products and technologies into areas of construction previously dominated by concrete and steel. Timber also lends itself to prefabricated building methods being adopted worldwide to met growing housing needs. The GTF can play a valuable role promoting uptake of such technologies.”
Françoise Van de Ven
“The Global Timber Forum can be channel for exchange on sustainable timber markets. It can be a lobbying platform to promote the use of timber, to put forward solutions and strengthen north/south communication on timber technology and transformation and wood product application. It can also be a tool to reinforce global collaboration in the fight against the illegal timber trade.”
Andreas von Möller
“We saw the potential for the Global Timber Forum at the launch summit in Rome. For the first time in my experience, forest and primary producer sector representatives met and communicated with the international trade, remanufacturers and consumers. Government and NGO representatives attended too. A very special spirit was started which I have not experienced before. So we have good reason to maintain communication via our new GTF open platform.”