BMRC Leads the Charge for Sustainable Forest Governance at COP28

At the UNFCCC COP28 Climate Change Conference in Dubai on Friday 8th December, the Broader Market Recognition Coalition (BMRC) spearheaded discussions on sustainable forest governance.

Building on the momentum gained from the impactful COP26 and COP27, these pivotal events highlighted the commitment of the BMRC’s tropical timber producer countries to promote sustainable timber trade and garnered substantial attention from participants and stakeholders.

Dr Agus Justianto, Director General of Sustainable Forest Management at the Ministry of Environment and Forestry Indonesia, emphasised the proactive efforts of producer countries within the BMRC in developing robust national systems for timber legality assurance. He stressed the need for wider market recognition of these efforts, encouraging global markets to acknowledge and support national sustainable forest management systems.

“Producer countries have been developing robust national systems on timber legality assurance systems and call for wider recognition by markets…BMRC is a platform to promote trade in sustainable timber and forest products,” Agus Justianto.

The BMRC, established in 2022 and comprising six tropical-producing countries – Cameroon, Ghana, Guyana, Indonesia, Liberia, and the Republic of Congo – focuses on endorsing, monitoring, and promoting the implementation of national sustainable forestry systems. Krisdianto Sugiyanto, Director of Forest Product Processing and Marketing, MoEF Indonesia, and Honorary Chair of the BMRC Secretariat, explained that the BMRC initiative originated from dialogues held at COP26 in 2021 and has evolved through various forums and COP27.

At the BMRC Policy Forum in Bali in March 2023, member countries solidified their collaboration and crafted a Roadmap for action, aiming to expand market recognition of each country’s national sustainable forest management system. Each member country has developed a transparent and accountable system, with Indonesia notably implementing the Legality and Sustainability Verification System (SVLK).

Krisdianto emphasised Indonesia’s SVLK, which contributed to a remarkable seventy per cent reduction in the country’s deforestation rate, reaching around one hundred thousand hectares per year – the lowest since the 1990s. He urged the global market to acknowledge such achievements and provide market incentives to encourage sustainable practices.

Chris Beeko, Director of Forestry Commission Ghana, highlighted Ghana’s forest management system, which is on track to receive FLEGT-VPA recognition from the European Union. He emphasised the importance of incentives for countries actively pursuing sustainable forestry, echoing the achievements of Indonesia.

Doreen Asumang Yeboah, Director of Rights and Advocacy Initiatives Network (RAIN) Ghana, and Dian Novarina, Vice Chairwoman of the Indonesia Forest Concessions Association (APHI), provided further insights during the panel, emphasising the collaborative and multi-stakeholder approach essential for achieving sustainable forest governance goals.

Continuing its impactful presence at COP28, the BMRC hosted the International Coalition to Tackle Deforestation at the COMIFAC Initiatives Pavilion on Saturday 9th December. This event facilitated a dialogue among representatives from diverse sectors to address the complex challenges of deforestation through a unified and international approach.

Key participants in this discussion included Krisdianto Sugiyanto; Joseph Moumbouilou, Director General of Forestry Economy, Republic of Congo; Chris Beeko; and Honorary Harrison Karnwea, Chair of the Forest Development Authority, Liberia, with moderation by Dr Tri Nugroho, BMRC Interim Secretariat.

The BMRC events at COP28 were not just a presentation but a call to action for global markets to acknowledge and support sustainable forest management systems. As COP28 builds on the successes of COP26 and COP27, the BMRC remains a driving force for positive change, demonstrating the collective efforts to pave the way for more sustainable and responsible timber trade globally.

For further information, please contact the BMRC Interim Secretariat at bmrc@forestgovernance.org.