A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE ITTA
Tropical Timber Agreement (ITTA) was negotiated under the auspices
of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development. The
negotiation sought to: provide an effective framework for
cooperation and consultation between countries producing and
consuming tropical timber; promote the expansion and diversification
of international trade in tropical timber and the improvement of
structural conditions in the tropical timber market; promote and
support research and development to improve forest management and
wood utilization; and encourage the development of national policies
for the sustainable utilization and conservation of tropical forests
and their genetic resources, and maintaining the ecological balance
in the regions concerned.
The ITTA was
adopted on 18 November 1983, and entered into force on 1 April 1985.
It remained in force for an initial period of five years and was
extended twice for three-year periods. The Agreement was
renegotiated in 1993-1994. The successor agreement to the ITTA (ITTA,
1994) was adopted on 26 January 1994, and entered into force on 1
January 1997. The ITTA, 1994 contains broader provisions for
information sharing, including non-tropical timber trade data,
allows for consideration of non-tropical timber issues as they
relate to tropical timber, and includes the ITTO Objective 2000 to
enhance members’ capacity to implement a strategy for achieving
exports of tropical timber and timber products from sustainably
managed sources by the year 2000. The ITTA, 1994 also established
the Bali Partnership Fund to assist producing members in achieving
the ITTO Objective 2000. Initially concluded for three years, the
ITTA, 1994 was extended twice for three-year periods, and is
scheduled to expire on 31 December 2006.
established the International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO),
headquartered in Yokohama, Japan, which provides a framework for
tropical timber producer and consumer countries to discuss, exchange
information and develop policies on issues relating to international
trade in, and utilization of, tropical timber and the sustainable
management of its resource base. The ITTO has 58 members divided
into two caucuses: producer countries (32 members) and consumer
countries (26 members, including European Community member states).
The ITTO membership represents 95 percent of world trade in tropical
timber and 75 percent of the world’s tropical forests.