The keynote address was given by Jeremy Wall from the EUropean Commission who gave updates on FLEGT, the EU Action Plan for Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade. He said he believed the interests of all stakeholders in the timber trade should be co-ordinated by FEBO.

Jürgen Blaser, the former president of the International Tropical Timber Organisation (ITTO), gave a global overview of illegal logging, the FLEGT project and the different definitions of illegality. He concluded that the measures required to improve forest sector governance are prevention, detection and suppression.

Andy Roby, the UK Timber Trade Federation‘s corporate social responsibility adviser, gave an update on the EU Timber Trade Action Plan (TTAP) which aims to achieve verified legality of 20% of the tropical timber imports into the countries of partner timber trade federations by 2010.

Mr Roby also gave an overview of TTAP’s key achievements – including the website, the EU-wide co-ordinating body to develop a harmonised purchasing policy for the sector, and chain of custody developed for external consultants.

At the congress, timber traders asked for measures to eradicate illegal timber to be “kept simple”. All were aware the future supply of tropical wood will come from the Voluntary Partnership Agreements being negotiated by the EU Commission with Cameroon, Ghana, Indonesia and Malaysia.