A key player in the tropical timber industry

Actively involved in the forestry sector since 1951, the ATIBT provides information, training and technical and scientific support to the tropical forest-timber industry through a network of more than 250 professional members from 39 countries.

The tropical timber industry has since the Rio summit in 1992 adapted to requirements for sustainable management of tropical forests. The fight against deforestation and the consideration of ecological, social and economic functions demand financial and technical efforts from all the players :

For the exploitation of tropical forests : implementation of forest management planning, training, consultation with local communities and wildlife preservation…

For the marketing and trade of tropical timber : the respect of legality, chain of custody and certification…

Going further from good practices by encouraging certification

ATIBT encourages best practices throughout the timber industry. Actively involved in the area of forest certification, the ATIBT cooperates with most initiatives put forward by the timber industry in this area and notably for what concerns the determination of the most appropriate criteria for the African context.

In this perspective, the ATIBT works closely with certification bodies accredited by the FSC or the PAFC or issuers of legality certificates such as OLB (Origin and Legality of Timber) or TLTV…

Naturally the ATIBT assists all members committed to processes of certification or timber legality.

Taking commitments in favour of a “low-carbon economy”

The concept of low-carbon economy (LCE) seeks to reduce the ecological footprint from activities, to avoid the use of fossil fuels and effluents harmful to the environment and to promote solutions which are more economic in terms of natural resources and less waste-producing. In such a way, a low-carbon economy positively impacts on the social life of involved parties and communities surrounding the production facility.

Today’s ecological crisis results from our way of life based on mass consumption and little concerned by the preservation of natural resources. The tropical forest timber industry operates in a world of limited resources. This industry must therefore meet the challenges of climate change among which are included the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions (GHG). In this respect, the tropical timber industry, with the ATIBT, is able to provide concrete solutions thanks to the intrinsic qualities of tropical timber.

- The profession has already initiated studies in view of reducing its ecological footprint and in order to assess the impact and lifecycle of tropical timber products.

- The ATIBT invites members to reduce their fossil energy consumption by energy recovery from sawmill waste via investments in cogeneration equipment.

- The ATIBT encourages product innovation based on tropical timber, renewable material par excellence, in order to replace conventional products with negative environmental impact.

As an example, the ATIBT promotes timber construction in Central Africa in replacement for imported materials such as cement, aluminium, PVC…
It is currently carrying out a development programme for African local markets which will, at the end of the project, allow the timber profession to export a smaller part of its production.

For each initiative, the ATIBT relies on the enhancement of a product being sustainable in every respect, since renewable, and equipped with the unique qualities of tropical species.

A technical eye on market evolutions, regulations and standards

The ATIBT continuously monitors technical and strategic challenges, from whose achievements its members are primary beneficiaries.

Technical and scientific support : The ATIBT provides members with the latest studies on new challenges: forest management planning in tropical areas, lifecycle, carbon footprint, social impact of activities…

Information : It also publishes technical writings addressing these issues as well as the tropical timber sector’s journal of choice: the ATIBT Letter;

Training : Assisted by expert consultancy offices, the ATIBT organises training courses attended by both its members, civil servants from concerned African Ministries and technical personnel from NGOs.

Professional players in the tropical timber industry are equally given the opportunity to benefit from this expertise on the occasion of professional events organised by the ATIBT.

Promoting tropical timber as today’s solution for tomorrow’s challenges

ATIBT promotes responsibly harvested tropical timber and particularly African tropical timber on the global market.
This approach is implemented by actions targeting all activity sectors where these species of remarkable mechanical performances and esthetical qualities are consumed :

- Maintaining relations with the trade press,
- Elaborating technical documents,
- Publishing statistics and market studies,
- Organising professional events.

An essential network within the forestry profession

ATIBT represents forest exploiters and industrials as well as all the players in the timber industry committed to the radical change the forestry profession needs to accomplish.

As the privileged interlocutor of European public authorities, African governments and other involved parties in the forestry sector, the ATIBT plays a major role in disseminating innovations and best social, environmental and industrial practices.