China’s agencies work with private sector on forest governance and industry standards

China's agencies have been working with enterprises at home and abroad on forest governance and industry standards with technical support from international organisations.

China's State Academy of Forestry Administration convened a three-week training workshop in Beijing in June for forestry officials from eight developing countries to learn about forest management, existing timber regulations and policies in the US and the EU and chain of custody management solutions offered by NGOs and certification companies to combat illegal logging. The annual seminar on forest law enforcement and governance, which was first held in 2009, was attended by representativesfrom Bolivia, Chile, Eritrea, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Pakistan and Zimbabwe.

Around 40 scholars, researchers and experts gathered in Beijing on 8 June for a workshop on ‘Greening China-Africa cooperation: Building pathways towards a sustainable future'. Its aim was to develop new research partnerships and to identify opportunities for international collaboration on trade, ecosystem management and human rights within China–Africa linkages. Topics included China's investment in African natural resource use and ecosystem management projects in Africa. Participating organisations included the Chinese Academy of Sciences, China's State Forestry Administration, UN Environment Programme, World Agroforestry Centre, Center for International Forest Research and Forest Trends.

The Chinese State Forestry Administration and the Ministry of Commerce also held the first stakeholder consultation meeting in Beijing on 9 June to review the newest of threeguidelines for Chinese enterprises' forestry trade and investment in other countries. The twoguidelines already issued covered sustainable silviculture and forest management and use.

Researchers fromthe Research Institute of Forestry Policy and Information and the Chinese Academy of Forestry presented a study on small and medium forestry enterprises for peer review during a workshop in Beijing in July. The study describes the challenges that smaller businesses face, including the high costs of meeting timber legality requirements, lack of access to information, and long and complex supply chains. The final report is expected to be ready in early 2014.

The EU FLEGT Facility provided technical support at these events at the request of the State Academy of Forestry Administration,the Chinese State Forestry Administration (SFA), the Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) and the Chinese Academy of Forestry. Facility staff and consultants reviewed guidelines, commented on studies and provided comments for new standards. They also gave presentations on lessons from implementing the EU FLEGT Action Plan and on green public and private procurement policies.