International Tropical Timber Agreement

General Detail

General Information

  1. Type: Convention
  2. Date of signature:
  3. Place of signature: Geneva, Switzerland
  4. Depositary:
  5. Date of entry into force: 01/01/1997

Category

Products

Sub category

Timber

Groups

ITTO

What is it about?

This Convention, replacing an earlier Agreement signed in 1986 that established the International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO) and that expired on 31 March 1994, aims to encourage the rational usage of tropical timber and to reinforce international cooperation between importing and exporting countries. It also serves as a valuable tool in the economic management of tropical forests. The primary objective of this instrument is to protect traditional forests by developing a sustainable management approach to timber resources and to reduce their depletion through over logging. Therefore, the sales price must reflect the real value of the resource and exported tropical timbers must be from forests run by sustainable management practices. A special fund assists producing countries to undertake the reforms and investments necessary to carry out sustainable management of timber resources. The 1994 Agreement does not address other reasons for deforestation, such as voluntary or accidental fires or the overuse of woods for domestic purposes.

Why is it relevant?

By ratifying the International Tropical Timber Agreement, timber-producing countries have access to funds for the sustainable management of tropical forests. The funds are intended to help countries to administer their timber resources in a sustainable and ecologically sound manner. All projects are funded by voluntary contributions, mostly from consuming member countries. From 1987 to 2005, ITTO has funded more than 600 projects, pre-projects and activities valued at more than US$250 million. In addition, States party to the Agreement develop internationally agreed policy documents to promote sustainable forest management and forest conservation and assist tropical member countries to adapt such policies to local circumstances. An equal partnership in decision-making, policy formulation and project development between producing members (tropical developing countries) and tropical timber consuming members (mostly temperate developed countries) characterizes the Agreement.

Additional Information

The International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO), created by the former Agreement and headquartered in Yokoyama, Japan, provides a forum where producing and consuming countries and interested non-governmental organizations can meet. The highest authority of the Organization is the International Tropical Timber Council, exercising regulatory powers, which is composed of all the Organization’s members. ITTO has two categories of membership: producing members and consuming members. Annual contributions and votes are distributed equally between these two groups, which are called caucuses. Within each caucus, the votes of individual members are calculated according to tropical timber trade and, in the case of producers, also on the extent of tropical forests within the country.

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Country ratifications
CountryRatification date
Australia02/02/1996
Austria16/05/1997
Belgium13/05/1996
Bolivia (Plurinational State of)17/08/1995
Brazil28/11/1997
Cambodia03/02/1995
Cameroon31/08/1995
Canada23/05/1996
Central African Republic23/05/1997
China31/07/1996
Colombia16/08/1999
Congo25/08/1995
Cote d'Ivoire31/01/1997
Democratic Republic of the Congo27/03/1997
Denmark13/05/1996
Ecuador06/09/1995
Egypt13/04/2000
Fiji27/01/1995
Finland13/05/1996
France26/10/1996
Gabon02/08/1995
Germany30/08/1995
Ghana28/08/1995
Greece13/10/1997
Guatemala03/05/2001
Guyana27/08/1997
Honduras02/11/1995
India17/10/1996
Indonesia17/02/1995
Ireland18/08/2000
Italy25/06/1998
Japan09/05/1995
Liberia09/12/1994
Luxembourg13/05/1996
Malaysia01/03/1995
Mexico11/03/2004
Myanmar31/01/1996
Nepal23/01/1997
Netherlands06/05/1995
New Zealand06/04/1995
Nigeria28/02/2002
Norway01/02/1995
Panama04/04/1996
Papua New Guinea13/05/1996
Peru21/09/1995
Philippines26/02/1996
Poland19/12/2006
Portugal04/11/1999
Republic of Korea12/11/1995
Spain15/01/1997
Suriname24/08/1998
Sweden13/05/1996
Switzerland10/06/1996
Thailand25/07/1996
Togo04/10/1995
Trinidad and Tobago29/12/1998
United Kingdom13/05/1996
United States of America14/11/1996
Vanuatu19/05/2000
Venezuela02/03/1998
Treaties analysis
YearRatifications
19941
199519
199621
19979
19984
19992
20003
20011
20021
20041
20061
Total63
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