World Wood-Based Panels Conference addresses timber legality

World Wood-Based Panels Conference addresses timber legality

The legality of timber and timber products was a recurrent theme at the Fourth World Wood-Based Panels Conference that took place from 22-23 September 2017, in Linyi, China. 

The China National Forest Products Industry Association (CNFPIA) formally released China’s timber legality verification standard at the opening of the Conference. This voluntary standard sets out the requirements for timber legality for CNFPIA member companies. 

‘Timber legality is very important for the sustainability of China’s forest products industry. Chinese companies are becoming increasingly familiar with international market requirements but more efforts should be made to raise awareness and build capacity in China,’ said Shengfu Wu, CNFPIA Vice President.  

The Conference also featured a keynote speech and presentations that addressed timber legality issues. A representative of the EU FLEGT (Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade) Facility delivered a keynote speech on the Bilateral Coordination Mechanism between the EU and China, timber legality developments in international markets and FLEGT licences from Indonesia. 

Steven Kooy, an independent compliance expert, gave a presentation on the North American Green Building Requirements. Kooy highlighted the critical importance of timber legality and due care in the United States. Thongsavanh Soulignamat, the President of the Lao National Wooden Products Industry Association, then provided an overview of the timber industry in Laos. He highlighted that timber legality and the Voluntary Partnership Agreement process under the EU FLEGT Action Plan are priorities for Laos.