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.