China's State Forestry Administration visit UK
The delegation consisted of officials from the SFA and the Chinese Academy of Forestry (CAF). CAF is our partner in the project Timber Legality Verification Schemes.
The objective of this visit was to develop an understanding of current discussions and initiatives on forest governance and trade, especially on action taken within the EU to tackle illegal logging. In addition, this visit also provided an opportunity for the Chinese delegates to learn about the approaches and measures used in the EU which may be useful in China, especially in relation to the current project on ‘Timber Legality Verification Schemes’.
ProForest organised an introduction meeting for the delegates to develop background knowledge on measures to tackle illegal logging, including the Due Diligence Regulation and voluntary partnership agreements. This served as a useful basis for further discussion when meeting with different organisations. The delegation also met with officials from the Department for International Development (DFID) and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) to discuss the UK government policy to tackle illegal logging. The delegation participated in the illegal logging update meeting at Chatham House. Ms Zhang Yanhong from SFA gave a presentation on China’s policies and efforts in tackling illegal logging and associated trade. Dr Chen Yong from CAF and Joyce Lam from ProForest also gave a joint presentation on the latest status of the project ‘Timber Legality Verification Schemes’.
In addition, the Chinese visitors met with the Timber Trade Federation (TTF) and some of their members to discuss the environmental and technical issues in terms of purchasing Chinese products. The Chinese delegation offered to set up a meeting with Chinese timber trade associations in early September in Beijing (alongside with the China Market Conference) to facilitate exchange of information.
The SFA visit to the UK helped improve mutual understanding and facilitated information exchange and further cooperation between China and the UK.