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Legality and Sustainability

Increased demand for legal and sustainable wood and wood products in international markets has increased pressure on tropical producers to improve forest planning and management, as well as wood processing and verification practices. Several policy initiatives have recently been taken in the public and private sectors to promote demand for, and trade of, wood and wood products via legal and sustainable supply chains. Several countries – such as the European Union, the United States of America, Japan, the Republic of Korea, and Australia – have established regulations to ensure that wood and wood products come from legal sources. One of these is the recently launched Global Green Supply Chain (GGSC) Initiative of private-sector organizations in China (the world’s largest importer of tropical wood), which is now being developed as a global network between producers and consumers.

Legal and Sustainable Supply Chains (LSSC) is one of the four Programme Lines (PLs) of ITTO with the general objective to enhance tropical timber supply chains to achieve legality and/or sustainability as a contribution to sustainable development and climate goals, meeting market requirements, and provide end users with assurance that products are from legal and/or sustainable sources.


Meet tropical timber demand and close the emerging supply gap.

Maintain and promote tropical forest resources as a source of income and economic development.

Contribute to fighting climate change and decarbonizing economies.

Support efforts to maintain biodiversity and other essential environmental forest functions.

The international policy context - linking producer and consumer networks through legal and sustainable supply chains.

Capacity building for producers, providing assurance to consumers and investors.

Role and mandate of ITTO in light of global forest trends.

The programme consists of a package of support activities:

The provision of assistance to governments in building enabling institutional and policy frameworks for promoting legal and sustainable supply chain.

The development, promotion and implementation of incentive mechanisms for increased investments in SFM and associated downstream supply chains,as well as measures to facilitate trade for legal and/or sustainable producers.

Capacity building for legal and sustainable wood production.

Capacity building and access to information on the marketing and trade of wood and forest products.

Capacity building for customs and other government authorities in ensuring the legality and sustainability of international and domestic trade, and associated trade facilitation.

Promotion of comparability and coherence among national and international regulations and standards.

Advocacy and awareness-raising among all stakeholder groups.

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