In 2012, when I first started researching China’s illegal timber imports, related news or information in Chinese was scarce. Six years on, however, a study co-authored by a Chinese government research institution offers a flicker of hope. China may be heading in the right direction and joining a growing global community who prohibit illegal timber imports by law.
China and the European Union (EU) are strengthening their efforts to address illegal logging and promote legal timber trade through their Bilateral Coordination Mechanism (BCM) on Forest Law Enforcement and Governance. The 9th meeting of the BCM took place in Beijing, China, on 7 March 2018.
A summary report of the Feasibility Analysis of the Incorporation of Timber Legality Requirements into Chinese Laws or Regulations to Promote Trade in Legal Forest Products was published. The analysis was undertaken jointly by the EU (DG Environment, European Commission) and China (State Forestry administration and Chinese Academy of Forestry), in the context of the EU – China Bilateral Coordination Mechanism (BCM) on Forest Law Enforcement and Governance (FLEG).
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.
The EU FLEGT Facility has published a briefing on the Chinese Timber Legality Verification System (CTLVS) and associated policies that China is developing to combat illegal logging and trade in illegal timber.
The EU FLEGT Facility has published a briefing based on research into flows of timber and investments between the China and the six countries that have signed Voluntary Partnership Agreements (VPAs) with the EU.
Mists of uncertainty and misunderstanding have shrouded China's role in African forests in recent years. These are beginning to clear and, thanks to initiatives such as the China-Africa Forest Governance Learning Platform, the prospects for true China-Africa forest partnerships look more promising than ever.
Over 100 government, private sector and civil society representatives from China and African timber-exporting countries gathered in Beijing for the 3rd China-Africa Forest Governance Learning Platform.