FAO's trade-related activities
FAO provides a broad spectrum of information and analysis in order to assist FAO member countries and interested constituencies to increase the positive impact and interactions at the interface of trade and forest management. In this regard, FAO works closely with international institutions mandated with trade policy development and in particular with the International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO) in Yokohama, Japan. Within FAO, the work on trade is coordinated through an inter-departmental group which is implementing an Umbrella Programme in its second phase including support to agriculture, fisheries and forestry.
FAO continues to support member governments, the private sector and non-governmental and other organizations by facilitating policy dialogue, capacity building and trade-related measures in line with its mission and mandate to support sustainable livelihoods and sustainable forest management.
FAO collects statistics on trade in forest products which are disseminated in the FAO Yearbook of Forest Products. These data constitute a useful foundation for policy making and implementation at all levels and contribute to FAO's outlook studies and other analyses on current trends in forestry. FAO also produces the Forest Products Annual Market Review jointly with the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe.
The FAO global project "Impact Assessment of Forest Products Trade in the Promotion of Sustainable Forest Management", supported by a trust fund arrangement with the Government of Japan, has analysed the relationship between trade and forest management to help policy makers formulate coherent policies. Several expert consultations have been organized on the subject and the results of this process of project implementation are available here.
FAO produces publications on subjects such as global and regional trade agreements, carbon trading and emerging environmental markets, trade measures and limitations, and the relationship between trade in forest products and services and governance. All cross-sectoral work is coordinated in-house, in particular within the FAO Forestry Department.
The topic of governance and related capacity building continues to be a focus of FAO's trade-related work.
FAO supports the efforts of its member countries to debate, develop and implement forest products certification schemes and initiatives. Based on the guidance of the FAO Committee on Forestry (COFO), efforts included:
- Supporting countries and their constituencies in promoting forest certification and close cooperation with the International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO) on the "phased approach to forest products certification";
- facilitated discussions on certification, for example, through the seminar "Building Confidence among Forest Certification Schemes and their Supporters" (Rome, February 2001), to foster mutual understanding among the certification schemes and interested parties.