To conserve forests, investment and trade in forest products must reward sustainable forest management in commercial terms. Products from sustainably managed forests can be tracked and sold with preferential terms, making such forests better investments. Commercial alignment with conservation goals is nowhere more urgent than in China. In just five years China has become the world's largest importer of tropical wood, affecting markets worldwide. The question of where China will find the fiber to feed its appetite for paper and wood - and at what cost - has far-reaching implications both within China and throughout the world.
Since 2000, Forest Trends has been aggressively engaged with the Chinese Government and research agencies to encourage sustainable forest management and forest trade policies. We have also launched a global forest finance initiative with the goal of raising transparency and accountability, and ultimately for improving practices by financial institutions that fund forestry investment.