FSC x UN-REDD presents: Advancing the sustainable forest trade in the Lower Mekong Region and China
Thursday, 10 March 2022
16:00 Hong Kong/ Beijing Time | 15:00 Bangkok/ Hanoi Time | 09:00 CET
Today’s consumers value sustainability. Brands and businesses are responding, moving towards making their supply chains more sustainable to showcase their environmental, social and governance achievements and their commitment to creating ethical value chains. Join us for a discussion exploring the topic with perspectives from IKEA, FAO and FSC.
*Simultaneous interpretation will be available (English-Mandarin, Vietnamese and Thai).
The FSC x UN-REDD Lower Mekong Initiative Official Kick-Off
On 10 March, the FSC x UN-REDD Lower Mekong Initiative held its kick-off webinar, called “Advancing the sustainable forest trade in the Lower Mekong Region and China”, which brought together more than 360 participants and industry professionals from 29 countries,
In her introductory remarks, Serena Fortuna, REDD Team Leader at FAO and UN-REDD Management Group Member, highlighted that the UN-REDD Sustainable Forest Trade in the Lower Mekong Region initiative, under which this partnership is being celebrated, supports countries in the Lower Mekong Basin and works with China to strengthen forest governance, and to ensure that trading of wood products is legal and sustainable. Remarking on the beginning of this exciting collaboration with FSC, Ms Fortuna said, “The partnership is well positioned to promote market-based tools for sustainable and legal trade, and to foster concrete forest solutions to address the climate emergency by reducing carbon deforestation and forest degradation, while enhancing local livelihood.”
In 2022, FSC is focusing on growing our presence in specific product markets and supporting regional and national market growth – making this FAO collaboration both timely and extremely important. Jeremy Harrison, FSC International’s Chief Markets Officer, pointed out that the partnership, “will allow FSC to achieve one of our most important 2026 Global Strategy objectives. By helping sustainable timber suppliers in these countries, particularly smallholders, obtain FSC Forest Management certification, we will help them gain access to international markets. We will [also] give brands around the world that are eager to improve their sustainable timber supply chain the chance to link up with these new suppliers, creating a virtuous spiral that will result in further market successes – as we have recently seen in the fashion and natural rubber industry.”
The FSC x UN-REDD partnership will bolster FSC’s already strong growth in APAC, which occurred despite the COVID-19 pandemic: In 2021, our Chain of Custody certificates grew by 21.5% year-on-year; while Promotional License Holder numbers increased by 34.5%.
Cindy Cheng, the FSC APAC Regional Director, shared her optimism that the partnership will create synergies and further affiliations around APAC, saying, “Ahead of us lie incredible opportunities to link the growing demand for sustainable timber products with responsible, certified suppliers from the Lower Mekong Region. The ‘Information Hub for Sustainable Tropical Timber’ developed under this partnership will greatly facilitate the expansion of the legal and sustainable timber trade.”
The participants were actively engaged throughout, submitted insightful questions in advance about such topics and expansion to further markets, the nature of the Information Hub, what type of products will be included and how the partnership will impact and uplift their businesses. As a measure of their engagement, more than 80% of the audience stayed for the entire webinar.
Bruno Cammaert, Regional Coordinator for the FAO-EU FLEGT Programme, summed up the dynamic mood of the webinar, saying “The UN-REDD Lower Mekong Initiative is very excited to be part of this effort and play a role in it.”