First Eight Companies Qualify for China Forest and Trade Network
Welcomed at a reception yesterday held during the “China Wood Markets Export and Import Conference” in Dongguan, these new members (see list below) are the first companies in China and Hong Kong to pass the CFTN membership requirement, thus demonstrating long term commitments to responsible forest management and trade.
The companies include two of China’s largest state-owned forest bureaus, three major private manufacturing companies based in mainland China, and three trading companies located in Hong Kong.
Working in parallel with 30 other country Forest and Trade Networks that represent more than 400 companies, the CFTN gives its members market access to a vast global network of similarly minded businesses.
“China is emerging as a dominant force in the global forest trade,” said Mr. Jin Zhonghao, Manager of the CFTN said at yesterday’s event. “It’s crucial that Chinese companies have a network that enables them to demonstrate that they are managing forests sustainably and processing and trading forest products responsibly. We welcome the first eight CFTN members who can serve as guiding lights for others in the industry.”
Half of the world’s original forest cover has already been destroyed and much of that destruction has taken place over the last 50 years. The world’s second largest importer of industrial timber, pulp, and paper, China leaves a massive ecological footprint across the forests of the globe both as a producer and a consumer.
Faced with an increasing demand for wood and paper products along with diminishing forest resources, China imports timber from many countries, including Russia, Indonesia, South America, and Central Africa. These regions have significant problems such as illegal logging and forest crimes, loss of natural forest to agriculture and silviculture and loss of biodiversity.
Against this backdrop, the environmentally sensitive markets of Europe and North America are calling for wood products that are legally harvested. The companies that joined the CFTN today see the potential to grow their export trade with these regions by becoming more responsible in their purchasing and achieving credible certification.
“Our customers in Europe demand certified and legal timber,” said Peter Cox, Quality Assurance Manager for Hong Kong-based trading company Kingfisher Asia Ltd. “CFTN can provide the support to our Chinese manufacturers that will help us meet this demand.”
In order to qualify for the CFTN, all the new member companies have undergone baseline audits and prepared detailed action plans to improve their environmental performance. The CFTN will provide technical support and guidance to help these companies follow through on these action plans in order to achieve credible certification within a five year period.
CFTN member companies acknowledge that, given the state of today’s changing global forest market, responsible forest management and trade is good business. Mr. Lu Weiguang, the Chairman of the Shanghai-based Anxin Flooring Company, put it this way: “Anxin’s goal is to become the leading flooring company in the world, and to achieve that we must take responsibility for the environment. The CFTN will help my company find sustainable sources of legal timber so that both my business and the forests will thrive for generations to come.”
* Launched in March 2005, CFTN is the China chapter of the Global Forest and Trade Network (GFTN), WWF’s worldwide partnership between leading non-governmental organizations, companies and communities aimed at eliminating illegal logging and improving the management of valuable and threatened forests. By facilitating market links between companies committed to achieving and supporting responsible forestry, the GFTN creates market conditions that help conserve forests and biodiversity, while providing economic and social benefits for the businesses and people who depend on them.
* China Forest and Trade Network members announced on 31/10/05:
From mainland China:
Jinlin Province Baihe Forest Bureau (Producer)
Heilongjiang Province Youhao Forest Bureau (Producer)
Yihua Timber (Manufacturer)
Shanghai Anxin Flooring Co. Ltd. (Manufacturer)
Timber Co. Ltd. (Manufacturer)
From Hong Kong:
Kingfisher Asia Ltd. (Trading company)
100% Concept Asia Pacific Ltd. (Trading company)
Auma International Ltd. (Trading company)
For further information:
Jin Zhonghao, WWF China Programme
Tel: +86 133 1111 0899
An Yan, WWF China Programme
Tel: +86 135 0121 0386
Lily Lee, WWF Hong Kong
Tel: +852 2525 4699