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Communities now own or manage one fourth of the forests in developing countries. Within the forestry sector, certification, eco-labelling and social auditing have served as the main consumer instruments to date. High hopes for forest livelihoods and poverty reduction have surrounded their use but each has had its limitations. It is now time to examine other complementary instruments - fair trade may be one such instrument. An alliance of institutions interested in promoting fair trade timber is beginning to form. This report outlines some of the options for building this momentum and enhancing local returns from responsible forestry.