The Sustainable Timber Information Exchange (STIX) brings radical transparency to data on the legal and sustainable trade in timber.
STIX collects, organizes, visualizes, disseminates, and exchanges data on international trade flows of timber and forest products, alongside the contextual information necessary to monitor the impact of measures to promote legal and sustainable trade.
STIX provides access to data dumps and algorithms for technical users and includes a visualisation component for non-technical users to view and analyse trade flows
GTF convenes associations of the wood-based industries and their stakeholders to address shared challenges in responsible trade with the following roles:
- providing a trusted international forum for associations and their stakeholders to convene;
- undertaking research into the views and capabilities of associations;
- analysis of relevant trade flow data; promoting engagement by facilitating dialogue, developing common positions and organising information exchanges between associations;
- acting as a conduit for external stakeholders seeking industry dialogue;
- and developing the responsible trade capacity of resource-limited associations and partners.
FII is a UK-based consultancy with over 20 years of experience in forest industry market intelligence and trade analysis, marketing and promotion, international timber trade issues, forest policy and sustainability, and life cycle assessment.
STIX is a response to a systematic review of around 80 sources of data on markets and trade flows for timber products commissioned by the Global Timber Forum in 2017. The review concluded that there are numerous data gaps which mean that it is not possible to draw any far-reaching or robust conclusions about global trends in trade in responsibly-sourced or illegally harvested timber products.
Development of STIX is being phased, the scope of information services being dependent on the timing and level of funding.
The first phase of STIX between April 2017 and March 2018 was supported by UKaid from the Department for International Development. The main output in the first phase, to be released to the public by 30 April 2018, is a system to validate, allow easy download and visualise timber trade data from Eurostat COMEXT (for more information on STIX development).
STIX aims to be a global platform and to include coverage of products within the scope of policies and programmes to combat illegal logging and to promote the responsible trade in timber.
In practice this includes all wood-based products included in the following chapters of the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System: 44 (“Wood”); 45 (“Cork”); 47 (“Pulp”); 48 (“Paper and Paperboard”); and 94 (“Furniture”).
The focus is on collating and providing access to trade flow and contextual data to assist implementation and monitoring of the following policy measures:
- on the producer side, timber legality assurance systems and independent third-party forest certification frameworks;
- on the consumer side, laws prohibiting trade in illegally harvested timber and/or requiring due diligence or due care, government and private sector timber procurement policies, and other green building and eco-labelling initiatives establishing minimum requirements for legal and sustainable timber products;
- multilateral agreements such as the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) and the International Tropical Timber Agreement (ITTA);
- bilateral agreements such as the EU’s Voluntary Partnership Agreements (VPAs) on legal timber with various countries, and the Peru-United States Free Trade Agreement, which includes a binding Forest Governance Annex.
While supporting international progress towards legal and sustainable timber trade, STIX is strictly neutral with respect to policy measures and mechanisms to achieve that objective.
STIX makes data freely available so that policy makers and analysts are better placed to monitor and draw their own conclusions on the impact of various measures and to assess their relative efficiency, equitability and effectiveness.
STIX only compiles, distributes and visualises data already in the public domain (e.g. published by UN or national agencies) or with the prior permission of the private data provider concerned.
The “cleaning” algorithms and methodologies are made publicly accessible for any data which STIX amends (e.g. to remove errors) and derives (e.g. roundwood equivalent volumes or estimates of verified legal or sustainable).