Why We Need the GFTN and How it Works | WWF

Why We Need the GFTN and How it Works

Every year, more than 30 million acres of natural forest are destroyed to meet the growing global demand for wood and agricultural products.

WWF's Global Forest & Trade Network (GFTN) recognizes that an effective response to such devastation is to turn the global marketplace into a positive force to save the world’s most valuable and threatened forests. Increasingly, consumers want to know where their wood comes from and to be assured that today’s forests will be here tomorrow for their children and grandchildren.


The GFTN—a WWF-led partnership—links more than 300 companies, communities, NGOs, and entrepreneurs in more than 30 countries around the world. The goal is to create a new market for environmentally responsible forest products. Since 1991, market-driven demands from GFTN participants have increased the economic incentives for responsible forest management. This is helping to ensure that millions of acres of forests are independently and credibly certified, a guarantee that the forests are well managed and that their products come from legal and sustainable timber harvests.

But despite this solid progress, reliable supplies of credibly certified “good wood” are still limited. And trade in wood and pulp from illegal or controversial sources is continuing.

A growing number of forest owners and managers, manufacturers of wood and paper products, retailers, distributors, and investors support sustainable forest management. But there are complex obstacles to achieving this goal. A major problem is uncertainty about how to achieve “good wood” certification and benefit from it.

The GFTN exists to support and facilitate greater coordination of national and regional efforts to expand responsible and credibly certified forest management, including technical assistance throughout the certification process and enhanced marketing opportunities.

GFTN participants are committed to increasing the availability of forest products from well managed forests, helping each other benefit and profit from sustainable forest management, and ending the purchase of forest products from illegal and controversial sources. This is the GFTN mandate.



  • The GFTN DVD  
	© Sylvia Tu

    Solutions for Committed Companies
    This 1-hour, 12-chapter video is an engaging way to learn about responsible forestry and trade in action. Download the chapters