1946 : the beginning
After the second World War, when it was time to start thinking about reconstruction, the European forests – which were particularly affected – were insufficient to satisfy the continent’s timber needs. In 1946, the FAO* and the OECD** convened an international conference to identify agriculture, forestry and fishing resources. The forest experts from both the public and private sectors that were present expressed the wish that an association be created in order to :
promote the tropical timber
publish statistics, by species, between producer and consumer countries
obtain commercial information on weights, measurements, sea freight and contracts
explore all means of increasing the production, sale and rational use of species
*Food and Agriculture Organization – a United Nations agency
** Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development
1951 : Launch of ATIBT
Six years later, in September 1951, the OECD organised an international conference at its headquarters (the La Muette château). It was attended by government officials and professional organisations (producers, manufacturers, importers, traders and end users). They decided to create the ATIBT (Association Technique Internationale des Bois Tropicaux). Initially, six working committees were established :
technical documentation and propaganda
production and consumption statistics
transport and handling
codification of commercial practices and contracts
classification and packaging of logs and lumber
1954 : First edition of the Tropical Timber Nomenclature
It will be regularly updated, through its latest edition in 2016.
1982 : first ATIBT forum in Rome
Based on a 2-day format that features debates and speeches, this forum is an opportunity to bring together and allow for discussion between members and players of the tropical timber industry. This was the beginning of a long series, with forums organised every two years, and then every year, with a different theme each time that is linked to sector developments and issues.
The ATIBT forum has been held in various cities throughout the world: Manaus, Marrakech, Washington, Hong Kong, Lisbon, Valencia, Libreville, Istanbul, Rome, Brussels, Athens, Shanghai, Belém, Bologna, Ho Chi Min City, Brazzaville, Amsterdam, Milan, and Dubai in 2017. The place of the next edition is to be determined.
1996 : International recognition
Integration of the FAO and support from donors to finance ATIBT’s various projects.
1998 : First collegiate efforts
First collegiate efforts dedicated to the sustainable management of tropical forests.
2012 : Signing of the ATIBT Convention
Agreement by the Central African Republic and the Republic of Congo
2013 : Signing of the ATIBT Convention
Agreement by the Ivory Coast.