For the past five years, TFF has received funding support under the RAFT (Responsible Asia Forestry and Trade) partnership arrangement, a regional USAID-sponsored program based in Bangkok, Thailand, and managed by The Nature Conservancy (TNC). RAFT works with forest producers in Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, and Papua New Guinea. Additionally, RAFT works in other countries such as China, Japan, Singapore, members of the European Union, and the US, to address procurement and investment policies that promote the legal timber trade.
The RAFT initiative focuses on promoting responsible timber trade and the sustainable management of forest resources and biodiversity. The initiative aims to improve forest management practices, promote timber trade from certified legal sources, reduce forest-related conflict, and strengthen regional cooperation on forest management and trade.
The Nature Conservancy leads a partnership of organizations in an synergetic effort to: increase regional trade from legal timber sources, measurably improve sustainability of forest management on the ground, strengthen regional cooperation on forest management and trade, contribute toward climate change abatement. Partners in the RAFT project are TNC, IUCN, RECOFTC, TFF, TFT, WWF, and TRAFFIC.
At a RAFT partners meeting in Bangkok, the termination of the USAID grant to RAFT was made official. Effective June 30, 2011, all RAFT field activities will come to an end.
TNC's contract with TFF it's now nearing completion of its fourth year. Financial support is predicated on the promotion and training of reduced impact logging techniques. Reduced impact logging training addresses a key obstacle to good forest management that influences the ability of regional forest producer to meet the standards of credible independent certification.
The RAFT program has set a new standard for USAID supported projects. It has proven highly effective in bringing together diverse organizations operating within the SE Asia region, under a common set of goals. The synergy created by this undertaking has definitely been greater than the sum of its parts! Visit www.responsibleasia.org for more information on RAFT program achievements.