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Global Timber Forum Secured Development Funding, Goes Live with Website

Thursday, March 20, 2014  
Posted by: Cindy Squires
Global Timber Forum secures development funding, goes live with website
20 March 2014

The Global Timber Forum (GTF) industry networking platform has taken a major step forward by securing significant funding from the UK Department for International Development (DFID).
The GTF is already gathering industry support worldwide, with its 2013 roll out and road-mapping summit at the Rome headquarters of the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) attracting delegates from 40 countries.

“TFF was sponsored as a participant in the 2013 forum because of the key role that we play in training forest-based companies and communities,” said Bob Johnston, executive director of TFF. “The forum reinforced that TFF’s technical knowledge is needed on the ground, in the forest, to advance sustainable forest management, which is highly desired by an industry looking to heighten its role in the global marketplace of ‘green products.’”

Earlier this year, the Forum’s website went live (, including a ground breaking online survey. The latter will provide invaluable data for the foundation of GTF as an information, discussion and communications hub for industry bodies worldwide, and a channel for best practice and ideas exchange.

Key areas covered in the questionnaire are economic development, poverty alleviation, deforestation, illegal logging, and climate change. It also addresses industry liaison with government and NGOs, skills issues, key business topics, and the scope of timber industry association activities.

According to GTF facilitator Rachel Butler, the UK DFID support will underpin awareness raising of its role and aims.

“It will also accelerate development of the website to share information and contribute to capacity building in a sector that is dominated by small and medium sized companies,” she said.
The GTF website, she added, will include discussion forums, where key topics will be debated and information exchanged, news and events listings, blogs, links and detailed information on the GTF international membership network.

Cindy Squires, Executive Director of the International Wood Products Association (IWPA), said her members were excited funding for the GTF’s initial activities had been secured. “It’s critical that the global wood product industry has a platform for exchange of ideas, information and best practices,” she said. “It will help ensure the continued relevance of our sector in the international market place.”

John Halkett, General Manager, Australian Timber Importers Federation agreed.
“The role of GTF is particularly pertinent at the present time when globally our industry is pushing hard to develop sophisticated products and building technologies to move timber into areas of building and construction projects previously the domain of concrete and steel.”
The demonstration of faith by UK DFID, he added, could secure further support for the GTF from other governments and stakeholders, including from Australia.

The Global Timber Forum is a new communication and discussion platform for the international timber industry and community, comprising online media and events. It launches at a time when the day to day business of the sector is being impacted by factors that increasingly cross national and regional boundaries; from timber legality requirements and wider environmental issues, to new regulation, and technical and design developments in end-user markets. Key participants will be lead timber and associated industry organisations around the world making this a truly global communication tool. The GTF will facilitate greater timber industry networking, knowledge and best practice sharing. The aim will be to develop united positions on the important issues, strengthen the sector’s market presence and raise its political and strategic profile.
For more information contact: Rachel Butler or Mike Jeffree or

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