The 50th annual meeting of the International Tropical Timber Council (ITTC) was started in the morning of 3 November, 2014, in Yokohama, Japan. The meeting focuses on discussing and evaluating results of ITTO activities, developing action plans, as well as approving ITTC’s resolutions and decisions, including resolutions relating to sustainable forest management and tropical timber trade. An important content of the meeting is voting new Executive Director for the next term starting from 2015.
Attending the meeting were representatives of 69 member countries and more than 50 observer organizations of ITTO-to-be members in the future, inter-governmental organizations, regional and international non-governmental organizations, and private sector involving forest management and forest product trade
This is the first time Viet Nam has attended in ITTC meeting since officially became the 69th member in April, 2014. Viet Nam delegation included representatives from Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Ministry of Industry and Trade leading by Dr. Nguyen Ba Ngai, Deputy Director General of Viet Nam Administration of Forestry.
Before and during the 1st meeting day, Viet Nam has actively discussed and provided comments in both official sessions of ITTC meeting and meetings of 4 ITTO Committees focusing on protecting rights of producer member countries which are the selection of new Executive Director for the next 5-year term, research programs and supporting projects for producer countries in the next year. Viet Nam together with other producer countries have raised questions and concerned about trade barriers towards tropical timber, especially plantation timber, which are being or going to be posed by consumer countries.
Viet Nam also met with leaders of Committee on Reforestation and Committee on Forest Industry to discuss priorities and approval procedures of projects for Viet Nam. Both Committees strongly committed to offer first supporting projects as soon as Viet Nam submits project proposal. In the short term, ITTO will help Viet Nam to organize a training course on ITTO project formulation. At the meeting with Committee on Markets, ITTO agreed that Viet Nam is eligible to use periodical market information of ITTO to distribute to Viet Nam’s enterprises and post on VNFOREST’s website.
Besides official sessions, ITTO invited Viet Nam to present and share experience on the implementation of Payment for Environmental Services (PES) policy at the side event named “Promoting PES in tropical regions: The way forward”.
The meeting will continue until 8 November, 2014.
(Source: Department of Science, Technology and International Cooperation, VNFOREST)