Second legal and sustainable timber project complete

At the end of March 2021, BVRio completed its second project funded by the UK government’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) Forest Governance Markets and Climate (FGMC) programme. During the first project, running from 2015 to 2018, we adapted the Responsible Timber Exchange, originally developed for Brazil, to the circumstances of other tropical forest timber producer countries (Ghana, Liberia, Ivory Coast and Cameroon) and the consumer markets of the UK, EU and China.

For the second project, running from 2018 to 2021, we focussed on creating markets for responsible timber from the FLEGT Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) countries of Indonesia, Ghana and Republic of Congo, and the promotion of legal timber products in the UK, Europe and China. The Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 meant we needed to change some of our plans, but we still achieved a lot! In Indonesia, we held a Good Wood Expo trade fair event and a series of workshops for Indonesian timber traders on how to access international markets for in 2020.

In Ghana, we held two workshops helping small and medium sized companies to align with their operations with the FLEGT VPA requirements. We also worked with timber stakeholders to develop a set of communication materials to promote Ghanaian lesser-known timber species and held webinars for Chinese, European and UK traders to raise awareness about why choosing these species from Ghana is good for timber legality and sustainability. In the Republic of Congo, we collaborated with ATIBT to produce an analysis of the social and economic impact of Covid-19 on the Forest sector. We also produced a practical guide to conducting due diligence of timber products from the country, designed to help buyers to understand the main documents that evidence legality.

All these activities have helped to promote the trade of legal and sustainable timber products. This is reflected in the success of the Responsible Timber Exchange, which helps traders to source and sell legal and sustainable timber products from all over the world. There are now over 1000 users from 52 countries with over 80 million m3 of legal and certified timber products available to buy or sell.