The Responsible Asia Forestry & Trade partnership (RAFT) is a regional program that brings together the skills and knowledge of leading conservation organizations to provide capacity building and knowledge sharing services to Asia Pacific countries in support of their efforts to promote trade in responsibly harvested and manufactured wood products.
RAFT is supported by the Australian and U.S. Governments and is implemented by The Nature Conservancy (TNC), the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES), TFT (The Forest Trust), the Tropical Forest Foundation (TFF), TRAFFIC – the Wildlife Trade Monitoring Network, and WWF’s Global Forest & Trade Network (GFTN). In addition to these core partners and supporters, RAFT works with government, industry, civil society, inter-governmental organizations and educational institutions from across the globe.
Through supply-side capacity building, technical support and networking opportunities, RAFT partners help bridge the gap between market and policy incentives and current management practices in order to help Asia Pacific suppliers meet the growing demand for verifiably responsible wood products that benefit local and global economies while also preserving the environment and mitigating climate change.
At every link along the global timber supply chain, people are responsible for the consequences of the worldwide trade in forest products. Since 1990, 40 million hectares of forest have been lost in Southeast Asia. Much of this begins with unsustainable logging practices. An estimated 15 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions are attributed to forest destruction around the world. Meanwhile, world demand for timber from tropical forests continues to grow.
The Challenge: How can we have furniture and healthy forests too?
The Answer: Responsible Forestry and Trade.
Business as usual in the forests of Asia and the Pacific means a rapid degradation of both forest ecology and the benefits derived by people from forests, including the long-term benefits earned by timber companies and governments. But responsible forestry and trade can mean the opposite: sustainability.
In an interconnected world, no single link in the timber supply chain can deal with the challenges on its own. Players across the global timber trade, from forest to furniture showroom, are all responsible – from forest managers, to forestry officials and policy makers, to manufacturers, to retailers and shoppers near and far.
RAFT’s unique partnership approach enables us to work with all of these players, crossing borders and supply chains, to bring about lasting positive change for the forests, people and economies of Asia Pacific, and ultimately the world as a whole.
Where We Work
The program targets 6 countries — with others involved through regional dialogues and learning exchanges.
Where We Work
Across Asia Pacific ...
We are working with partners to:
Participate in and contribute to regional knowledge sharing events
Co-hosting a public-private dialogue on small and forest enterprises in collaboration with the APEC EGILAT
Provide technical and advisory support provided to ASEAN and Member States to inform harmonization of standards related to forest management and trade in wood and paper products under the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC)
Assess and test ASEAN+3 platform potential to strengthen incentives for raising the profile of transparent and legal forest products trade within ASEAN
In China ...
We are working with partners to advance responsible practices in China’s overseas forestry investment, while reducing its imports of illegal and unsustainable forest products, including:
Develop and disseminate a strategy for encouraging Chinese companies to practice responsible overseas investment in sustainable forestry
Identify and recommend regulatory options and steps to improve Chinese timber importers’ due diligence systems to effectively exclude illegal timber from their supply chains and increase the proportion of sustainably-grown forest products
Encourage 20 Chinese media outlets to report on the effects of illegal and unsustainable logging on livelihoods, forests and biodiversity in Southeast Asia
Increase awareness of deforestation and forest degradation caused by consumption of illegal and unsustainable forest products among 10,000 Chinese people
In Indonesia …
We are working with partners to address capacity gaps and weak incentives for scaling up legal and sustainable forest management, including:
Deliver training and technical support to companies, communities and Forest Management Units (KPH) to implement sustainable forest management
Demonstrate VCS-approved methodology for measuring carbon emissions reductions from reduced impact logging and mainstream findings in policy and national training curricula
Deliver training and awareness raising to support successful implementation of Indonesia’s national timber legality verifi cation system (SVLK) among smallholders
In Lao PDR …
We are working with partners to strengthen forest governance through increased multistakeholder communication and collaboration, and to improve government, private sector and community capacity in key areas, including:
Establish a Forest and Trade Knowledge Platform as a forum for forestry and timber stakeholders to come together to identify and address key governance blockages and improve market links
Design and demonstrate production extension and market activities for smallholders
Facilitate improved trans-boundary cooperation with Vietnam, a gateway for timber trading from Lao PDR
In Myanmar …
We are working with partners to develop and demonstrateapproaches and tools for government, communities and the private sector to contribute to a national transition towards credible legality and sustainability in the forest sector, including:
Support the use of a participatory process in the review and revision of the Myanmar Selection System (MSS)
Deliver training and technical support to the Forest Department in the implementation of forest management and monitoring activities
Undertake capacity development and outreach in support of increased community participation in the responsible forest products trade
Host technical dialogue on timber legality verifi cation and related regulatory and market-based measures
Develop a strategy for addressing the illegal timber trade between China and Myanmar
In PNG …
We are working with partners to address key capacity needs of government, private sector and communities in their efforts to practice legal and sustainable forest management, including:
Design and deliver a training program in reduced impact logging and compliance with PNG’s Logging Code of Practice to companies and government in partnership with national training/educational institutions
Deliver training and technical support to the PNG Forest Authority in the monitoring of forestry of operations
Deliver training and technical assistance to support the sustainable forest management certifi cation of an indigenous community forestry model
Support the testing and revision of PNG’s draft Timber Legality Verification Standard
In Vietnam …
We are working with partners to strengthen policy and capacity for sustainable forest and plantation management and support Vietnam’s role as a market for responsibly sourced timber, including:
Undertake research and outreach to improve the regulatory framework for sustainable forest and plantation management
Deliver training and technical support to plantation managers to implement sustainable plantation management
Deliver training to customs officers and forest rangers working at cross-border areas in the requirements for legal timber trade and identification of key commercial species
Work with retailers in Vietnam to increase the supply of responsibly sourced timber available to domestic buyers
RAFT has shown that the growing world demand for timber products that are legal, sustainable – and increasingly, low-carbon – can be a powerful engine to manage the forests of Asia and the Pacific without destroying their vulnerable ecologies and the lives of the millions who depend on them.
RAFT's sucessess since 2007
Increased the Supply of Responsible Timber:
Provided direct technical assistance to 81 timber concessions seeking sustainable management, resulting in 1.3 million hectares gaining Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification and another 2.8 million hectares on track for certification.
Supported Livelihoods and Community Empowerment:
Assisted 45 communities to improve operations in and increase benefits from forests.
Strengthened the Supply Chain:
Educated nearly 1,300 wood manufacturers in the region about changing market requirements, with a focus on understanding and responding to timber legality requirements in Austalia, the United States and the European Union.
Built Long-term Capacity:
Equipped 13 local and national organisations across six countries to become champions and future leaders of capacity building for responsible forestry and trade.
Advanced Carbon Science:
Developed a system to quantify reductions in carbon emissions from reduced impact loggig - revealing potential reductions of up to 40%.
For all inquiries (including general and media), please contact:
Mr. Usman Rao
Regional Program Coordinator
Responsible Asia Forestry & Trade Program (RAFT) The Nature Conservancy - Asia Pacific Region
c/o IUCN Asia Regional Office
2nd Floor, Bio House, Sukhumvit Soi 39 Bangkok 10110, THAILAND