Producers and consumers of tropical timber will meet briefly in UNCTAD on 13 September to decide on the definitive or provisional entry into force of the International Tropical Timber Agreement (ITTA) adopted in 1994 by a United Nations Conference as a successor to the ITTA, 1983. The latter will expire when the new Agreement enters into force.
The meeting has been convened by the Secretary-General of UNCTAD, Mr. Rubens Ricupero, at the request of the International Tropical Timber Council. This meeting is required as the conditions for the definitive or provisional entry into force regarding the required number of votes as set out in the Agreement had not been met on time.
To date the following producer countries have taken the necessary action towards the entry into force of the Agreement: Bolivia, Cameroon, Congo, Côte d´Ivoire, Ecuador, Gabon, Ghana, Honduras, Indonesia, Liberia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Philippines, Thailand and Togo. The following consumer countries have taken action: Australia, Belgium/Luxembourg, Canada, China, Denmark, Egypt, Finland, Germany, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Republic of Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and United Kingdom.
The main consumer which has not taken action so far is the United States (which ranks third in world imports of tropical timber). The main producer which has not taken action so far is Brazil (which ranks third in world exports of tropical timber).
The ITTA 1994 (TD/TIMBER.2/16) seeks to promote the expansion and diversification of international trade in tropical timber from sustainable sources, by improving the structural conditions in international markets, including access thereto. It does so by taking into account, on the one hand, a long term increase in consumption and continuity of supplies, and, on the other, prices which reflect the costs of sustainable forest management and which are remunerative and equitable for members. It does not provide for direct market intervention.