President hails ‘advert for wood’

FLEGT-licensed timber has the potential to improve the timber trade’s image and reinforce efforts to boost wood consumption, according to ETTF President Andreas von Möller.

Mr von Möller acknowledged he had shared trade criticism of FLEGT licensing’s slow progress. “The lack of results after so much time and energy spent by the EU was disappointing for many and I’d almost lost hope it could work out,” he said.

But now, he added, enthusiasm for the arrival of the first licensed timber is growing the closer it gets. "It's big news and will spread quickly, once it’s here, going far beyond trade insiders. It’s one of the best adverts for the EU timber import trade generally and their commitment to legality, and the tropical trade in particular. It has potential to open new trading value and volumes and impact on timber production.”

Mr von Möller believes Indonesia’s first FLEGT-licensed timber will also “encourage other producers to reach the same level” in their own EU FLEGT Voluntary Partnership Agreements. “And with wood’s resulting image improvement we can hope to achieve an increase in use of our wonderful, sustainable material,” he said.