Fostering a Market for Legal and Responsible TimberOne reason that makes the GFTN unique, is its ability to bring changes not only in the global forest market, but also at the local level— by influencing consumer decisions as well as policy changes at the national level that favour responsibly traded forest products.
GFTN-Switzerland has worked with the Swiss public to promote FSC and raise awareness about the issue of illegal logging and the importance of responsibly managed forests since 2004. Through their efforts, public awareness of FSC products has increased by 27 per cent and influenced people’s decisions to buy forest products that are produced legally and responsibly.
During the campaign, 53,000 signatures were collected for a petition to stop illegal trade in forest products, which was sent to the national parliament. The petition asked for three things: an import ban on illegal wood, a declaration of wood and wood products, and the enforcement of controls to exclude illegal wood in public procurement. This petition was influential in the development of a new piece of legislation to stem illegal trade in forest products, that was adopted by the Swiss Federal Council in June and put into force at the beginning of October.
With this legislation, companies will be required to declare the wood species and the country of origin for broad categories of wood products, following the EU requirements. Initially, roundwood, wood in the rough and some solid wood products, will be subject to the reporting requirement. Subsequently, the extension of the reporting requirement to other wood products will be considered when the contents of the EU regulation on timber and timber products are defined more precisely.
“This legislation is important because it will allow a fairer competition within the forest industry by providing a level playing field— requiring each company to declare their sources. The declaration will bring more transparency into the forest products supply chain and provide assurance to customers that their purchase is legally sourced,” said Simone Stammbach, GFTN-Switzerland Manager.
“This legislation will also reassure GFTN-Switzerland participants that they are on the right track by certifying their supply chains, ensuring that the wood has been harvested legally and responsibly.”
By combining efforts to influence consumer decisions and effect change at the policy level, the GFTN is making strides in transforming the global forest products industry into a force for conserving the world’s forests. Through these efforts, WWF is bringing increased transparency into the forest products supply chain and helping to foster a market for responsibly produced products.
For more information, contact:
Simone Stammbach (firstname.lastname@example.org) © WWF Switzerland