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Rotterdam's Partner Forest Program

The City of Rotterdam has great ambitions for a sustainable future, not only focusing on the preservation of forests and trees in or near the city, but also worldwide. Urban purchasing and procurement policies – including wood – have enormous potential to conserve the world's forests. For this reason, Rotterdam's current procurement policy states that only sustainably produced (i.e. certified) wood may be used in public projects. This in itself is a commendable commitment, but requires an expanded set of considerations of other dimensions of sustainability to be able to better and more sustainably respond to the complex realities of global timber markets.

Rotterdam’s Partner Forest program offers the city the opportunity to navigate this complexity and pilot purchase their timber directly from local communities, thereby supporting the development of these communities on the front lines of first conservation and their forest management.

Partnering to Promote Sustainable Forestry 

The Probos Foundation and Pilot Projects are working together with the city of Rotterdam to link the city’s demand for timber in outdoor infrastructure with its commitment to climate action, biodiversity conservation and global social justice. The city has purchased a number of Conservation Timber species from Bolivia, Guyana, and Guatemala to test their performance and durability in a pilot project involving the construction of 50 public benches. It is expected that these benches will be installed in early 2024. 

In addition to guiding the procurement of conservation timber in partner cities like Rotterdam, it is critical that the story of where this timber comes from is made accessible to Rotterdammers. These stories will highlight the positive impact the Conservation Timber used has on forest conservation, biodiversity and the livelihoods of the people who live in these forest communities.

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Seeking long lasting sustainable timber sources for public infrastructure 

is a top priority for Rotterdam.

The program aims at building relationships with community forest enterprises

who manage some of our planet's most biodiverse landscapes (Mark van Benthem, Probos)

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