The environmental impacts on global forest resources that result from forest products trade have become a focus of world trade discussions and other international forest management dialogue. Linkages continue to surface between forest resource issues that affect how much and in what manner resource supplies enter the market and forest products issues that reflect increasing demand for forest goods and services, pressure for environmentally-produced or "green" products and insistence on legal practices in forest production.
The variability and complexities of bilateral and multilateral trade agreements suggest that the inclusion of environmental and social issues demand wider participation in world trade dialogue throughout the world. Examples of the multi-faceted evolution of environment and socio-economic issues within the trade arena include the long-standing bilateral trade disputes over softwood lumber imports from Canada to the United States, the escalating trade-offs among social, environmental and economic impacts of bushmeat trade in Central Africa, and the critical developments of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) for highly-valued forest species such as the rare tropical hardwood Bigleaf mahogany (Swietenia macrophylla). Two primary repositories of international trade data on forest products are the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO).
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