News  |  06.01.2023

Think Tank #5: what prospects for certified tropical timber in 2023?

The 5th ATIBT Think Tank gathered on December 7 & 8, 2022 about fifty people, in Nogent-sur-Marne and in video.

Think Tank #5: what prospects for certified tropical timber in 2023?

This Think Tank was organized around 3 thematic sessions: "Carbon Finance & Biodiversity", "Improving the image of tropical timber in Europe" and "Exploring new markets for tropical timber".

We would like to thank the Carbon & Biodiversity Commission, which coordinated the organization of the first session, the CNDB, which organized the Thursday afternoon session, as well as Claude Garcia, who once again facilitated this meeting. Thanks to all for their support in organizing this Think Tank and the richness of the discussions.

December 7: Carbon Finance & Biodiversity: Giving value back to forests

Session 1: A look back at the COP 27

Although COP 27 was disappointing for several African countries regarding financing mechanisms, a "loss and damage" fund was created. This fund will allow to support populations vulnerable to climate change.

A notable achievement is the launch of the FSC Climate Coalition. This is a multi-stakeholder partnership platform that will serve as a source of guidance and leadership, as well as opportunities to jointly test some of FSC's upcoming climate and restoration tools. This group, officially launched on November 12, will meet for the first time in February 2023. It will then address the questions of how to integrate FSC certification and tools with leading global methodologies for measuring and accounting for greenhouse gas emissions.

Forestry companies have the opportunity to position themselves as solution and innovation providers to implement green economic pathways and contribute to keep the planet within the 1.5°C limit.


Session 2: Beyond carbon: how to value biodiversity in projects?

In the current context where biodiversity is collapsing, the objective of the Organization for Biodiversity Certificates (OBC) is the implementation of a methodology to remunerate actions in favor of biodiversity, i.e. biodiversity certificates. The OBC expects the first biodiversity certificates to be available on the market in 2025.

The FSC, for its part, has set up the 30.006 procedure which allows the verification of positive impacts of forestry activities on ecosystem services. This procedure has been applied in the case of industrial concessions in the Congo Basin, the objective being to develop manuals and tools adapted to the context of the Basin for turnkey implementation in order to facilitate its replication in other concessions.


Session 3: What difficulties for forest carbon projects and how have they been (or can they be) overcome?

Motion 49 regarding the FSC 30.006 procedure on ecosystem services was presented. This Motion 49 was drafted to mitigate the identified flaws in the carbon market.

Maderacre, a recent member of ATIBT, is a good example of an FSC-certified forestry company that has successfully developed a REDD+ project and managed to generate revenue from it. Maderacre sustainably manages 270,000 hectares of forest in Peru and has been FSC FM certified since 2007. The company is the first forestry concession in the world to have generated carbon credits through its REDD+ projects.


Session 4: What are investors looking for in a forest carbon project and what can we provide?

This session provided an opportunity to discover the points of view of private and public donors with regard to carbon projects, with a view to opening up financing prospects for forestry project leaders, with presentations by Bouygues Construction, the FFEM and SouthBridge.


Session 5: PPECF: "What should we propose to KfW/COMIFAC in a 4th phase of the PPECF?

At the end of the third phase of the PPECF (Program for the Promotion of Forest Exploitation and Certification, financed by the German Cooperation - KfW), the objectives of additional certified forest areas (6,700,000 ha at the legal level and 6,500,000 ha at the sustainable management level) will have been largely exceeded.

New avenues have thus been proposed to consolidate these achievements in a 4th phase, including a carbon component.

A more detailed account of the sessions held on Wednesday, November 7 is presented in the Carbon & Biodiversity Commission's Watch n°6. As a reminder, the watch is available on request for ATIBT members.

Morning of December 8: Improving the image of certified tropical timber in Europe - Evolution of the Fair&Precious collective and ongoing actions for the promotion of certified timber.

The morning of December 8 was organized around a central axis, the image of certified tropical timber on European markets and our means of action to improve it.

It started with the projection of a short film, whose realization was financed by PPECF within the framework of the ATIBT marketing program Fair&Precious. As a reminder, 3 films on sustainable management of tropical forests have been made or are being made in recent months. After the presentation of the first film at the ATIBT Forum in Nantes (second in the series), the first episode of this collection was shown for the first time to the Think Tank participants, giving rise to interesting discussions on the elements to highlight in the communication, the language elements, and the power of images.

The film is now available online

 After a review of the endorsement of the Congo Basin PAFC, the FSC GA, and the finalization of the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA)/Dryades project (topics on which we have published recent articles available on the website), the session was devoted to a discussion on the capitalization of the Fair&Precious program, created 6 years ago. How can we secure the program's activities on the long-term ? Could we move the actual brand to a foundation-type structure? How to guarantee long-term funding? These are all questions that need to be considered with all the actors in the sector, and above all with the Fair&Precious operators.

This reflection is rooted in a desire to put the notion of "Fair" and the social commitments of certified companies at the center of actions and to make them more visible. The Madera Justa project is part of this goal: increased communication with the stakeholders of this project would enrich the discussions. It was proposed an action to be led by Kinomé in order to reinforce this dimension of Fair&Precious.

The possibility of setting up a participatory financing mechanism for biodiversity conservation and rural development projects within forest concessions via a crowdfunding platform was considered.

Afternoon of December 8: Exploring new markets for tropical timber: new regulations, new balances, new opportunities

This session was very much appreciated by the participants for having tackled issues on which we do not exchange much and broadened our usual field of speakers. Coordinated by Sarah Laroussi, from the National Center for the Development of Wood (CNDB), the work of architects using tropical timber was presented and led to discussions on timber species to be used in Europe.

Fabienne Bulle, architect, associate of the agency Fabienne Bulle architecte et associés , presented a project in Gabon with FSC-certified timber, after having evoked the use of timber in works in France. This project concerns the construction of the new French Embassy in Libreville, using FSC-certified padouk from the Precious Woods concessions.

Other architects and in particular Dietmar Feichtinger or M. Mahé, presented their outdoor works. The session was also an opportunity to integrate the European Federation of Parquet (FEP) to the activities of ATIBT: the FEP, which brings together European parquet manufacturers, national federations of parquet and suppliers of the industry has indeed joined the association in late 2022 to better promote the value of tropical timber to the parquet industry in Europe.

The presentations are collected here

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