Conversations about Climate Change

Conversations about Climate Change

Conversations about Climate Change is a specially commissioned design competition, exhibition, and event series providing a platform for urgent climate debates.


The initiative falls under the Timber Trade Federation’s FLEGT project work, facilitated through the FLEGT team and utilising tropical hardwood timbers from Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) countries through the Timber Trade Federation members.


The concept our Conversations about Climate Change competition, exhibition and event series is to foster better communication between countries who are currently implementing or negotiating their Voluntary Partnership Agreement and end users of these timber products – architects, designers, craftspeople, specifiers, retailers – and further afield.


We are showing that timber harvesting from sustainable forest management sources will actually keep the forests standing – providing governance and legal reforms are in place. We can support this by keeping trade alive and money flowing back to those making the positive changes through their country Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA).


The initial part of this work was our Climate Conversations which closed on the 24th August.


Following this – during the period that the winning designs will be fabricated and exhibited – we are running a series of ‘In conversation with…‘, to continue climate conversations in light of COP26 being postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


The first of these conversations is ‘In conversation with Kat Scott‘, Architects’ Climate Action Network coordinator. Full details for this event can be found here.


We proudly announce the winners of Conversations about Climate Change, to be exhibited at the Building Centre in London.


The six winning designs include: a sound pavilion made of Sapele; timber forest dwellers of animals from VPA countries; a Sapele column extraction; a teak sculptural marker demonstrating high tide to highlight the impact of rising sea levels from climate change; carbon printing blocks signifying the potential carbon storage of tropical hardwoods; and a series of wind-up instrumental trees, tree whisperers, demonstrates the pulsing beats of tree species responding to rising global temperatures.


Entries to the competition were received from around the globe including: Cameroon, Colombia, the USA, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, the Netherlands, UK, Australia, Kenya, Greece.


Tropical hardwood species selected include: Keruing, Meranti, Teak, Jelutong, Sapele, Merbau, Greenheart, Utile, Ekki and Obeche. All timber for this project will be sourced through the Timber Trade Federation members’ in line with the TTF’s Responsible Purchasing Policy (RPP) to ensure responsible sourcing, and all from Voluntary Partnership Agreement Countries.

More information 


*The exhibition opening date has been postponed until January 2021 due to current Covid-19 measures.


Page & in conversation soon to be released…


Page & in conversation soon to be released…


Page & in conversation soon to be released…


Page & in conversation soon to be released…

‘In Conversation with…’

2020 was meant to be the ‘year of climate action’ and super year for the climate and forests. This was partly through the COP26 talks, scheduled to be held in Glasgow during November. David Hopkins, CEO of the Timber Trade Federation and creator of the Conversations about Climate Change concept, notes: “most policy makers recognise that forests were going to be playing a major part in those talks [COP26], and they were going to be looking at ways in which, and financial mechanisms in which, we could keep those tropical forests standing”.


During the next couple of months, we will house a series of climate conversations: ‘In conversation with…’ with different stakeholders. These conversations will explore issues including but not limited to responsible sourcingsustainable forest managementcarbon storageFLEGTclimate change mitigation and the timber industry for a low-carbon economy.


‘In Conversation with Kat Scott & David Hopkins’: Watch the conversation about climate change with a focus on tropical timber


More information including past conversations with Vanessa Norwood and David Hopkins

Meet our climate conversations judges

Judging by Adam Brinkworth, Yinka Ilori, Julia Barfield, Andrew Waugh and Leah-Riley Brown presented a diverse representation of timber for the climate emergency. They joined David Hopkins and Vanessa Norwood, deliberating to select designs which would most strongly stimulate conversation around climate change, while presenting the aesthetic beauty of selected tropical hardwood species and ability to communicate the EU FLEGT Action Plan.


Designs were anonymised and shortlisted based on their response to the brief (a climate change conversation piece celebrating the properties of tropical timber), the quality of designs and their collective impact as an exhibition. Six designs have been selected to be developed and exhibited in the Conversations about Climate Change exhibition, held at and in association with the Building Centre in London. Opening has been postponed until January 2021.


More information


Conversations about Climate Change is part of the TTF’s FLEGT project to promote FLEGT-licensed timber as a legal and verified way to import tropical timbers, raising awareness of the initiative and trade with the countries currently working towards FLEGT licensing. The six winning designs will be created from responsibly sourced tropical hardwood from VPA countries, sourced through TTF members in line with the Responsible Purchasing Policy.


In addition to creating ‘Conversations about Climate Change’, the design competition, exhibition and event series will also draw light to the merits of the FLEGT Action Plan for creating global trade links, multi-stakeholder dialogue and engagement, forest management and environmental laws and legality compliance. Through a greater awareness and education of the FLEGT Action Plan to end-users in Europe, we are hoping to encourage a greater integration of FLEGT within procurement policies, specification by retailers and suppliers to support trade and encourage progress and utilise sustainable forest management.