Public authorities in Europe use enormous amounts of timber-based products, whether in the construction of infrastructure such as buildings and bridges, or for furniture and office-equipment needs. Through increasing the demand for sustainable and innovative products, and in particular products based on timber, public procurers have the power to stimulate green growth and to ensure that timber products are resilient to future challenges. To help bring this message to cities, ICLEI has partnered with the European Sustainable Tropical Timber Coalition (STTC), a Netherlands-based initiative for sustainable trade and responsible forest management.
The STTC is a broad alliance of industry, business, local and regional governments and NGOs working in close partnership with the European Timber Trade Federation to increase European demand for sustainably sourced tropical timber. Through joining the coalition, cities can benefit from expert support and networking opportunities with like-minded purchasers. They will also have access to tens of thousands of Euros of funding to implement sustainable and innovative sourcing strategies and to enhance sustainable procurement of tropical timber.
Purchasing responsibly sourced tropical timber is one of the best ways for European governments to combat deforestation and to prevent the clearing of the world’s most important rainforests. The sustainable management of tropical forests provides significant employment opportunities and economic benefits to local communities in developing countries, lifting many people out of poverty. It also contributes to preserving unique biodiversity, such as endangered animal and plant species. To ensure that timber producing countries embrace sustainable practices, it is crucial that consumer countries demonstrate that there is a viable, long-term demand by making responsibly sourced timber the market norm.
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