'Sustaining forests, supporting sustainably sourced timber'
Probos is an independent non-profit institute for forestry, forest products and services. Probos strives for a sound balance between the different forest services and values and a sustainable financial basis for forest management (see mission statement). Probos' main fields of expertise are: sustainable forest management (SFM), afforestation, cultural heritage in forests, biomass production and procurement, timber market, certification of SFM and CoC, Green Public Procurement and specialised ICT services (forest data). Through applied research, pilot projects, information activities (seminars, field excursions, websites, publishing books and articles) Probos enhances the know-how and awareness on these issues in the forestry and timber sector in the Netherlands and abroad. By collecting, analysing and summarizing vital (market) information Probos want to ensure that the social debate on sustainable forest management is based on reliable facts and figures. Probos is the official Dutch National Correspondent for various international institutions and has therefore an extensive network of international contacts with amongst others UNECE, FAO, ITTO, timber traders, wood processing industry, timber trade associations, forest owner associations and (international) NGO´s. Furthermore, it is the aim of Probos to promote innovations in forest management, afforestation, forest plantations, wood processing industry and biomass (upstream). Probos works on its mission by conducting projects initiated by themselves or in assignment of third parties, using its extensive expertise and network.
Probos is located in Wageningen, the Netherlands, employs 10 people of which 8 are advisors dealing with the different fields of expertise. Six of them have a master degree in (tropical) forestry and nature management, one has a master degree in informatics and one has a bachelor degree in forest and nature management. Since 1965 Probos and its predecessors have been working on forestry and the timber market in the Netherlands and abroad.
Forests are crucial for men, nature and the environment. To enhance these important values to society, it is crucial to maintain a balance between the different forest services and values and to create and sustain a sound financial basis for their management. This, however, is not always the case, thus jeopardizing the very basis of sustainable forest management.
According to Probos sustainable forest management is based on a long term vision and planning to prevent short term on the spot management decisions which may harm vital forest values and services. The long term vision should be based on sound know-how and objective and reliable data on the forest area which include all aspects of the forest (e.g. timber stock, biodiversity values, cultural heritage etc.). Moreover, the long term vision should take into account all forest values and societal demands of the forest. Based on this vision the forest manager can plan its short term management practice. A sound financial basis for forest management is provided by a fair reward for all goods and services that forests provide by markets, subsidies and other financing mechanisms. Harvesting of timber and biomass from forests can provide an important (financial) basis for the management and conservation of the forest, because 'If a tree can earn its' living, it has a greater chance of survival'. However, timber should be verifiably sourced from sustainably managed forests. The certification of sustainable forest management and the chain of custody from the forest tot the end user is an important way to ensure this.