New Director to bring new momentum to the International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO) in 2022

At the 57th session of the International Tropical Timber Council, held by videoconference last December, Ms. Sheam Satkuru was appointed as the new Executive Director of ITTO. Alongside this appointment, a strategic action plan was defined, structuring the priorities to be implemented over the next five years.

These priorities include

- Promote good forest governance and public policy frameworks that enable the strengthening of sustainable forest management and related trade and an increase in SFM financing and related investments,

- Increase the contribution of the tropical forest sector to national and local economies and resilient livelihoods, including through increased processing and trade in tropical timber and other forest products and services,

- Curb deforestation and forest degradation in the tropics, enhance forest landscape restoration and forest ecosystem resilience to climate change, and conserve forest biodiversity and ecosystem services,

- Improve the quality, availability and timeliness of information on tropical forest products markets, supply chains and international trade, including challenges and opportunities related to market access, expansion and diversification.

Based in Yokohama, Japan, ITTO, the International Tropical Timber Organization, is an intergovernmental organization that promotes the conservation and sustainable management, use and trade of tropical forest resources. In other words, it is involved in the development of the forestry and timber sector in general.

 Who is Sheam Satkuru?

Ms. Satkuru is a Malaysian national with a wealth of experience in international trade, communications, public affairs and the forestry sector. She holds a Master of Laws degree from Kings College, University of London, was called to the English Bar in 1993 and served as the Regional Director of the Malaysian Timber Council for Europe from 2007 to 2017, before being the Director of Operations at ITTO since 2017. Her selection was the result of a long process of negotiation and consultation within the Council.

In her speech, she acknowledged that consensus was the basis for her appointment: "As the first woman to be appointed Executive Director of the Organization, I salute all the members of the International Tropical Timber Council for the spirit of consultation and collaboration they have shown. She went on to say, "I am committed to advancing ITTO's interests in a fair, balanced and equitable manner for all members. She will assume her new position in early 2022.