WWF and IKEA Cooperation on Forest Projects

Geographical location:

Asia/Pacific > East Asia > China

Summary

China is becoming increasingly important as both an importer and exporter of wood-based products. Promoting responsible forestry and certification in China will therefore have an impact far beyond its borders.

The project will work to identify high conservation value forests (HCVF) in priority areas as well as educating and training key stakeholders. The project will also promote legal compliance within domestic and international supply chains. Educational programmes on responsible forest management and Chain of Custody (CoC) certification will be undertaken.

Background

In China, forests are of special importance both for economic development and environmental services. Because of over use, most of China's forests have been converted into low quality forests, which include secondary forests, forest plantations, young forests, shrubs, agricultural land areas, and over-degraded wasteland areas. This has led to serious biodiversity loss, soil erosion, frequent flooding, a decrease of natural forest area, and shortage of forest products.

China's imports of timber from other countries around the world are rising rapidly, with China now consuming over 130 million m3 of timber annually. Research completed by WWF and its partners shows that by 2003 there was deficit of 75 million m3 annually in the wood China uses to meet its domestic needs and export industry demand. This deficit has to be met by wood sourced from elsewhere, for example from the Russian Far East.

China presently supplies 10% of IKEA's solid wood. IKEA sources wood primarily from Forest Bureaux in the Xing An and Cang Bai Mountain regions of Northeast China and Inner Mongolia.

Certification is still at an early stage in China. However there is increasing interest from parts of the private sector and government. WWF's Programme Office in Beijing is currently facilitating the formation of a national working group on FSC certification to develop certification standards in China. To date, 2 forest management units, 1 in Zhangjiang Province and 1 in the Guangdong, have achieved the FSC certification through SmartWood. In addition, there are 57 wood processing companies that are FSC CoC certified.

The government is very supportive of the process of forest certification in China, and is now actively promoting it. The National Working Group has received official support from State Forestry Administration and held several workshops with different stakeholders.

Objectives

1. Map the distribution and potential conservation value of forests in the Xing An and the Chang Bai Mountain areas of Northeast China and Inner Mongolia and assess the representation of protected areas in this region.
2. Identify high conservation value forests in selected districts within this region.
3. Encourage legal compliance at all points within the domestic and international supply chains for IKEA wood products made in China.
4. Establish a well-informed, multi-stakeholder, constituency in support of responsible forestry and certification in China.
5. Build local capacity and understanding on the practicalities of achieving forest management and CoC certification
6. Raise awareness of and promote responsible forestry and certification in China through education, training and other communication activities.

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