Forests play an important role in Asia-Pacific economies. Governments and regulators have the responsibility and authority to develop and enforce public policies and incentives that encourage legal and sustainable forest management and transparent trade in forest products. To date, most countries in the Asia-Pacific region have revised their forest policies to incorporate sustainable forest management.
WHY IT MATTERS
Policy can play a critical role in driving better practices in the forest and in factories. In just 3 years, timber legality requirements in Australia, the United States and the EU have changed the game for wood products exporters in places like China and Vietnam. Similarly, the introduction of Indonesia’s timber legality assurance system, now a mandatory certification system for any timber products that leave the country, is helping responsible businesses access major markets, and putting pressure on others to move away from ‘business as usual’ logging if they want to stay in business.
WHAT RAFT IS DOING
To be effectively implemented, good policies require strong institutions and skills. This is why making the connection between policy and practice is key to our approach.
RAFT policy work ranges from providing technical support to the development of national timber legality verification systems and regional guidelines for legal and sustainable timber, to demonstrating and developing tools to support more participatory and holistic spatial planning approaches.
RAFT also facilitates learning exchanges and promotes collaborations on responsible forestry and trade between some of the world’s biggest timber trade players, such as China, Indonesia and the United States.