ITTO suspends project activities due to financial constraints

20 June 2016

The International Tropical Timber Organisation (ITTO) has temporarily suspended external meetings and project activities due to financial constraints after learning that its investments may have suffered.

ITTO, which brings together producer and consumer countries to work on tropical forest conservation and trade, has advised all member governments of the situation.

The ITTO confirmed to TTJ that all payments to ITTO projects have been temporarily suspended.

Located in Yokohama, Japan, ITTO funds a large number of diverse forest based projects designed to assist tropical countries manage and sustain their timber and forest resources.

Finance is raised through an annual levy related to the size of the each member country’s trade in tropical timber.

Documents on the ITTO website relating to the 29th meeting of the Informal Advisory Group (IAG) last November outline that investment in securities of ITTO funds totalling US$6m had been largely lost due to a fund going into receivership. It was also outlined that ITTO had other funds in investments.

The documents described the matter as a serious issue with the potential to impact on the organisation’s credibility, with recommendations including establishing an investigation and creating a plan of action.

ITTO’s well respected and widely circulated Market Information Service bulletins are not affected.

ITTO’s International Tropical Timber Council meeting last year