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Sustain forests, promote sustainably sourced tropical timber

10 mei 2018

Probos’s mission is to support the sustainable management of forests worldwide. One of the ways Probos carries out its mission is help achieving global and local supply chains that source from sustainable production.

The Netherlands imports over 90% of the timber it consumes. It therefore draws heavily on forests abroad. However, this also means that large consumer markets like the Netherlands can influence forest management in other countries through their demand for products. The growth of the market share of sustainably sourced timber supports responsible forest management and brings environmental and social benefits. Probos views certification of sustainable forest management (SFM) and the associated supply chain as an excellent tool to promote sustainable forest management and contribute to forest conservation. Ever since the mid-1990s, Probos has for this reason worked on promoting sustainably sourced timber, to sustain forests.

The Netherlands alone still is within the top 3 of the largest primary tropical timber consuming countries in the EU. However, since 2007 its consumption of tropical timber decreased dramatically. The same goes for nearly all other major consuming countries in the EU, while demand in other markets increased significantly. Up to 2009, the EU was the largest tropical wood product import region in the world. By 2017, China/Hong Kong/ Taiwan POC and North America are the largest direct importing regions in value, with each importing twice the quantity of the EU. The EU ranks fourth, with a value of about 4 billion US$ (half of its peak in 2007).

This means the potential impact individual European countries, like the Netherlands, have to influence forest management in tropical countries became less significant. It is therefore crucial to collaborate with other countries to ensure a strong message is send out to producer and tropical timber processing countries that there is serious interest in sustainably sourced tropical timber. This is exactly what the European Sustainable Tropical Timber Coalition (STTC) aims to do: increase the demand for sustainably sourced tropical timber in Europe to 50% in order to stimulate sustainable forest management in tropical countries.

Probos therefore supports the work of the STTC and conducts the following activities for the STTC over the period 2018 - 2020:

1. Explore restructuring STTC;
2. Organisation annual STTC conference; and
3. PR and Communication, via the STTC website and newsletter.

More info:


uitvoerder(s): Mark van Benthem, Joyce Penninkhof, Gebca Velema
opdrachtgever(s): IDH, the Sustainable Trade Initiative
periode van uitvoering: 2018 - 2020