According to project-syndicate.org, Gabon’s Forest Minister Lee White is organising a team to assess the legality of all the country’s concessions suspecting many administrative errors having occurred in the past.

In an article in Project Syndicate in October co-authored with National Climate Council chair Tanguy Gahouma, Minister White also reported that, in the next 12 months, the government will work with concession managers to make improvements to harvesting practices. The government will then conduct a follow-up study to measure the effect of the changes.

Under a recent ten-year agreement, Norway will pay Gabon a floor price of US$10 per certified tonne of carbon for reducing greenhouse-gas emissions caused by deforestation and degradation, as well as for absorption of CO2 by natural forests.

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Reports of illegal logging made through the ISO 9001- 2015 certified Standard External Independent Observation System (SNOIE) helped the Cameroonian Ministry of Forests and Wildlife generate a surplus of XAF 72.5 million of forest revenues in the period 2016–2019, according to a report in Business in Cameroon.

The funds were generated by fines imposed on illegal forest operators and through the proceeds of public auctions of confiscated timber. 

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According to a report in Foreign Policy, the China–US trade dispute continues to have negative impacts on African timber exports. US importers are hesitant to ship inventory due to uncertainty over the levels and timing of tariffs affecting cargoes already enroute.

In separate news, the US government notified the US Congress on 31 October that Cameroon would lose its eligibility status under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) in 2020 because of a failure “to address concerns regarding persistent human rights violations being committed by Cameroonian security forces.” 

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According to Lesprom, PEFC welcomed its 52nd and 53rd national members. The General Assembly, its highest decision making body, voted Ukraine and Guyana into the alliance.

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According to ITTO, EU imports of flooring products from tropical countries fell a further 4% to 19,700 MT in the first nine months of 2018, continuing a long term decline in response to tough competition from European and Chinese manufacturers and non-wood alternatives, fashion trends favouring temperate timbers, supply constraints, and challenges of EUTR conformance. The value of EU imports of wood flooring was more stable, at €45.7 million in the nine month period, only slightly less than €45.8 million in the same period last year.

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According to FOADAQ, 7% rise in EU imports of tropical sawnwood EU imports of tropical sawn wood increased 7% to 582,500 MT in the first nine months of 2019 compared to the same period in 2018. Import value increased 3% to €557.9 million.

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According to AJOT, sawmill profit margins have fallen substantially in North America over the past 12 months with BC sawmills margins in the 2Q/19 being close to their lowest levels in 15 years, reports the Wood Resource Quarterly.

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According to woodworking Network, Brian Daigneault has combined his loves of traveling, surfing, and woodworking to specialize in custom cabinetry for cars and trucks. His Huntington Beach, California, shop called Solid Wood Worx does intricate and inventive conversions that turn ordinary cars, trucks, and vans into multipurpose camping and overlanding vehicles.

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According to the Sun daily, Malaysia has exported about RM12.5 billion worth of timber products between January and July this year, said Malaysian Timber Industry Board (MTIB) director-general, Mohd Kheiruddin Mohd Rani.

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Wood fibre costs fell in most regions of North America during the first six months of 2019, with the biggest declines in Western Canada and the U.S. Northwest. Prices for pulplogs and wood chips in the U.S. South bucked the trend, with softwood fibre moving up to its highest levels in three years and hardwood fibre prices hitting an all-time-high,according to Canadian Forest Industries.

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