In mid-2011 the highly successful RAFT (Responsible Asia Forestry and Trade) partnership arrangement funded by USAID regional office, officially came to an end. This program brought together 7 organizations under the leadership of The Nature Conservancy in a synergetic partnership which promoted sustainable forest management and the regional trade in legal and sustainably sourced forest products from 2006 to 2011.
Recognizing the advantages of funding a successful partnership, the Australian Government on December 13, 2012, announced a one year program to fund “RAFT-2”, a partnership program managed by TNC and implemented in collaboration with the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES), the Tropical Forest Foundation (TFF), The Forest Trust (TFT), the Wildlife Trade Monitoring Network (TRAFFIC), the Center for People and Forests (RECOFT), and WWF’s Global Forest and Trade Network (GFTN).
RAFT-2 partners are active in countries where the regions remaining dense forests are found including China, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Papua New Guinea, and Vietnam. TFF will have an active role to play in Indonesia and Papua New Guinea under this program. TFF’s activities will focus on reduced impact logging training and helping concessions and wood working industries prepare for legality and chain-of-custody audits.
In PNG, TFF will work with the PNG Forest Authority, the Forest & Industry Training Centre, the Forest Industry Association and some of the country’s leading timber concessions in establishing the ground work for a larger RIL training program and the promotion of independent certification.
The TNC hosted the first RAFT-2 partners coordination meeting in Bangkok between December 10-13, 2012. TFF is now preparing a work plan and will post upcoming activities early in 2013.