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Current state of illegal rosewood and forest trade in the Lower Mekong and China

Webinar | -


Current state of illegal rosewood and forest trade in the Lower Mekong and China – trends, solutions, likely impacts and links to forest carbon markets


WHEN: 23 May 2023, 2:30 – 4:00 pm BKK time

WHERE:: Foreign Correspondents Club of Thailand, Lumphini, Pathum Wan, Bangkok + virtual 



WHAT: Following the celebration of UN’s Biodiversity Day, we invite you to this press conference that will unveil key insights from UN-REDD’s Sustainable Forest Trade in the Lower Mekong Initiative.  We will delve into the initiative's challenges and achievements in combatting forest crime, promoting sustainable forest trade, and preserving critically endangered tree species like Rosewood in the face of a growing demand for forest products. Through a compelling blend of data and stories, journalists will gain valuable insights into the interplay between forest governance, sustainable value chain, forest carbon markets and the protection of the Lower Mekong region's precious forests.



  • Forest trade in the Lower Mekong region has changed over the past few years, including shifts in the types of products being traded, changes in the countries involved in the trade, and the impact of COVID-19. Trends include: an improved sustainable forest trade governance and certification, decrease in exports of primary wood products from natural forests, significance of China and emergence of Viet Nam and Thailand as global wood products trade hubs.

  • One in two respondents do not care about forest crime, according to the 2022 Knowledge, Attitude, Practices Survey. The survey highlights the need for a change in behaviour from both consumers and suppliers of forest products, urging a shift from apathy to concern and from ignorance to compliance. Targeted behaviour change campaigns, such as China’s Forest for Life and Thailand’s Our Forests, Our Home, have proven effective in influencing positive behaviour towards sustainable trade policies and practices.

  • Transboundary forest crime such as illegal logging and trade of Rosewood, a highly in demand but endangered species, is a major challenge that requires cooperation among countries. Regional dialogues and cooperation across Viet Nam, Thailand, Cambodia and Lao PDR have been effective tools to crack down forest crime and promote legal forest product trade.

  • Addressing forest crime and promoting sustainable forest trade can be linked to REDD+ and forests carbon markets in the Lower Mekong region. REDD+ helps countries to receive financial incentives for reducing greenhouse gas emissions through forest conservation and sustainable management.





Topic and Speaker


2:30 – 2:35

Introductions and welcome

2:35 – 2:50 
(10 min pres; 5 min Q and A)

Can the Lower Mekong region transform from being a hotbed of illegal logging and forest crime to a hub of sustainable forestry and trade? What are the current trends and impacts of forest trade, now and in the future?

Forestry Officer, Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations

2:50 – 3:05
(10 min pres; 5 min Q and A)

Why is forest crime often overlooked and what can be done to change people's attitudes and behaviour towards it?

Programme and Communications Officer, United Nations Environment Programme

3:05 – 3:20

(10 min pres; 5 min Q and A)

At the national level, how has Thailand employed forest monitoring, community-led campaigns, and regulationsto safeguard rosewood and combat forest crime?

Forestry Officer, Royal Forest Department, Bangkok, Thailand

3:20 – 3:35 

(10 min pres; 5 min Q and A)

What steps is Cambodia taking to enhance bilateral cooperation with neighboring countries to combat transboundary forest crime and illegal rosewood trade?
Deputy Director, Forestry Administration, Phnom Pehn, Cambodia


(10 min pres; 5 min Q and A)

How is protecting Lao PDR’s forests linked to the country’s climate mitigation goals, REDD+ and forest carbon credits?

Head of Planning and Cooperation, Department of Forestry, Vientiane, Lao PDR



Final Q and A and group photo

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