During the 14th World Forestry Congress, Tropenbos International and partners organized a special side event to share experiences from forest and farm producers. It brought together more than 50 people, who reconfirmed the wealth of knowledge held by producer organizations, and that is being shared and built upon to create change.
Financiers: European Commission’s Programme on Tropical Forests and other Forests in Developing Countries and the Government of the Netherlands.
Collaborating partners: Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR)
Abstract: Chainsaw milling, the on-site conversion of logs into lumber using chainsaws, is supplying a large proportion of local timber markets with cheap lumber. While it offers socioeconomic opportunities to local people, it is very often associated with corruption and illegalities. Regulating and controlling the practice is a challenge due to the mobility of these chainsaw milling operations. Domestic timber production and trade are to a large extent unrecorded. Information in this issue of ETFRN News shows that in some countries it represents a high percentage of total timber production, ranging from 30–40% (in Guyana, Republic of Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo/DRC and Uganda), to more than 50% (in Ghana, Cameroon and Peru), and almost 100% in Liberia. Governments of tropical countries around the world have failed to address the domestic timber demand and struggled to deal with the CSM subsector, which is often informal. International negotiations and agreements on tropical timber production also tend to disregard local timber consumption, although the local timber trade might be affected by these international agreements and vice versa. The European Union (EU) Action Plan for Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) and the (future) climate change agreements (through Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation, or REDD+) might be able to provide incentives to regulate local timber trade. The 28 articles in this issue of ETFRN News cover 20 countries: seven in South America and the Caribbean (section 2); four in Asia (section 3); and nine in Africa (section 4), providing a good overview of the opportunities and challenges of chainsaw milling as a supplier to domestic and regional timber markets. This issue aims to establish the scale and impact of chainsaw milling in the domestic timber trade, and flag it as an important issue to be addressed by national and international forest policies.
Established in 1991, the European Tropical Forest Research Network (ETFRN) aims to ensure that European research contributes to conservation and sustainable use of forest and tree resources in tropical and subtropical countries. ETFRN promotes a dialogue between researchers, policy-makers and forest users, the increased coherence of European tropical forest research, and increased collaboration with researchers in developing countries.