Interstate armed conflict poses significant challenges for businesses operating in the timber and wood products trade industry. From disruptions to supply chains and logistics to damage to infrastructure and market instability, conflicts between nations can have far-reaching impacts on the timber industry. In this article, we explore the implications of interstate armed conflict on the timber trade and strategies for businesses to mitigate risks. 

Understanding interstate armed conflict 

Interstate armed conflict refers to conflicts between sovereign states involving the use of military force. These conflicts can arise due to various factors, including territorial disputes, ideological differences, resource competition, and geopolitical tensions. Armed conflicts can have profound humanitarian, economic, and environmental consequences, affecting industries and communities worldwide. 

Impacts on the timber trade 

Interstate armed conflict can impact the timber trade in several ways: 

  1. Supply Chain Disruptions: Conflict zones may disrupt timber supply chains, leading to delays in transportation, damage to infrastructure, and interruptions in production and distribution networks. 
  1. Market Instability: Armed conflict can create uncertainty and volatility in global markets, affecting timber prices, demand, and trade flows. Investors and buyers may hesitate to engage in transactions with countries affected by conflict, leading to market fluctuations and price spikes. 
  1. Environmental Destruction: Conflict zones often experience environmental degradation, including deforestation, habitat destruction, and ecosystem disruption, due to military activities, displacement of populations, and resource exploitation. 

Strategies for mitigating risks 

To mitigate the risks associated with interstate armed conflict, businesses in the timber and wood products trade industry can implement the following strategies: 

  1. Diversification of Suppliers and Markets: Diversifying timber supply sources and exploring new markets can reduce reliance on conflict-affected regions and mitigate the impact of supply chain disruptions. 
  1. Risk Assessment and Planning: Conducting risk assessments and developing contingency plans for managing disruptions caused by armed conflict can help businesses anticipate challenges and implement timely responses. 
  1. Engagement in Conflict Resolution Efforts: Supporting peacebuilding initiatives, conflict resolution mechanisms, and diplomatic efforts to resolve interstate conflicts can contribute to stability and reduce the likelihood of disruptions to the timber trade. 
  1. Adherence to Responsible Sourcing Practices: Adhering to responsible sourcing practices, such as certification schemes like the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) or Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC), can help businesses ensure that their timber products are sourced from sustainably managed forests and avoid contributing to conflict-related environmental destruction. 

Collaboration and advocacy 

Collaboration and advocacy efforts among industry stakeholders, government agencies, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), and international bodies are essential for addressing the challenges posed by interstate armed conflict. By working together, stakeholders can share information, coordinate responses, and advocate for policies and initiatives that promote peace, stability, and sustainability in conflict-affected regions. 


In conclusion, interstate armed conflict presents significant challenges for businesses in the timber and wood products trade industry, impacting supply chains, market stability, and environmental sustainability. However, by implementing strategies such as diversification, risk assessment, engagement in conflict resolution efforts, and adherence to responsible sourcing practices, businesses can mitigate risks and contribute to peacebuilding and stability in conflict-affected regions. Collaboration and advocacy are also essential for addressing the root causes of conflict and fostering a more resilient and sustainable timber trade industry in the long term.