International Teak information Network (TEAKNET)
Co-organised by International Union of Forest Research Orgnisations (IUFRO) Teakwood Working Party (Div 5.06.02)
Supported by FAO Regional office for Asia Pacific (FAO RAP)
Oral presentations, Panel discussion
The report “State of the World’s Forest Genetic Resources” published by FAO in 2014 lists tree species that are considered national priorities by the reporting countries for the conservation and management of forest genetic resources. Teak (Tectona grandis L.f.) takes the top rank in this list in more than 20 countries. Given the importance of teak for forest conservation and management and its prominent position in the global timber market and trade has resulted in remarkable expansion of teak plantations in about 70 tropical countries with the objective of producing and supplying large volume of superior-quality teak timber in the shortest possible time. At the same time, high-yielding forest plantations must be integrated into the wide context of forest landscapes and thus contribute to its restoration as well as the achievement of the global development agenda, particularly SDG 15. While at the same time, the natural teak forest area has declined substantially in all native teak growing countries and the genetic resource base is at high risk of losing it biodiversity. The Global Teak Study published by IUFRO in 2017 highlighted the importance of addressing these key issues related to genetic resources conservation, sustainable management, economics, production, markets and trade and the report also provides policy recommendations and guidance for future work in promoting sustainable management of natural and planted teak forests in the tropics. TEAKNET in association with IUFRO and FAO is in the process of launching a global teak support programme (GTSP) with the financial assistance of ITTO, first in the Mekong countries of Asia Pacific region, and later extending it to Africa and Latin America. Teak investments, when undertaken under the right climatic and edaphic conditions, using genetically superior planting material, have shown to yield attractive and robust return rates of more than 10% IRR, provided that good management and appropriate silvicultural practices are applied. The major economic challenge for teak growers is to produce quality wood that is acceptable in international markets. One increasingly important consideration influencing trade in plantation teak involves environmental certification and legality issues. Governments, buyers and retailers, mainly in western countries have embraced the principles of certification. In the future, public and private teak producers and processors will increasingly pursue voluntary certification schemes (forest management and chain-of-custody certification) to meet environmental, social and economic standards of responsible forest management and gain better access to high-price in timber markets. The specific objective of the session is to address: (1) Present options of high-quality timber production in planted forests as a component of forest landscape restoration; (2) Strengthen the understanding and knowledge of teak genetic resources, promote their sustainable use and management; (3) Review and improve the existing silvicultural systems and practices for better stand management on teak wood quality; (4) Review the international marketability of teak, among others.