How to stop illegal logging by identifying the origin of the wood? - ATIBT

A visit from World Forest ID to the ATIBT gave us an insight into this interesting approach. Tackling global deforestation and degradation requires that the actors involved in global supply chains have the means to accurately verify the identity and geographic source of both timber and deforestation-related agricultural commodities.

 

 

There is legislation around the world requiring organisations involved in trading timber to ensure it is legal and multiple voluntary certification schemes[1] designed to ensure timber originates from well-managed sources. New, more rigorous regulations are being considered in Europe, the UK and the US. All the current control mechanisms rely on reviewing documents describing the sale and purchase of goods between organisations in the supply chain, because there is little to be learned by looking at the timber itself. With modern information technology - it is simple to produce false documentation, and the process is prone to errors. It’s easy to cheat and hard to catch.

 

World Forest ID solves this problem by making it possible to determine the origin of the timber directly. State-of-the-art technologies now make it possible to use the chemical information contained in plants to identify, accurately and reliably, the species and origin of a product—all with just a small sliver of material. Historically, the biggest hurdle to using these technologies, such as stable isotope ratio analysis (SIRA) and Direct Analysis in Real Time mass spectrometry (DART), has been the lack of available chemical reference datasets from forests and agriculture fields around the world, which could be used as a global reference - a “map” of sorts. Such reference maps would allow the testing and matching of products to the origin from where they were grown.

 

Collecting samples

 

World Forest ID  needs lots of reference samples. As a generalization, more samples equals better data, higher resolution, and more accuracy, but at a higher cost - for the collection and analysis. It is also important to collect them carefully - keeping note of the type of tree and precise location. Each sample will then need to be sent to more than one laboratory - clearly identified and without contamination - to ensure data quality.

 

World Forest ID has worked with the University of Tennessee to develop software specifically to support the reference sample collection process. The tool works on a smartphone and guides the user through the whole sampling process, whilst making use of the camera and GPS tracking features to identify and locate the tree. Sample collectors are also provided with sealable bags and unique barcode labels to avoid contamination and ensure correct identification at the lab. Sample collectors are being recruited from the many organisations that already send people into forests - including independent auditors for the voluntary certification schemes, forest workers, forest community members, and research scientists.

 

All reference samples are sent to the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew (a World Forest ID partner organisation) for processing. Kew has an international reputation for plant science and hosts some of the largest curated collections of plant material in the world - including the Millennium Seed Bank. They have deep experience of receiving, handling, identifying and storing plant material - a complex business that requires government licensing as well as highly specialised skills and knowledge.

 

Analysis and building the reference database

 

All living organisms consist of the ‘life’ elements - hydrogen, carbon, nitrogen, oxygen - with a little phosphorus and sulphur. In trees, these elements are formed into a wide variety of structures such as cellulosic material (up to 75% of the total), lignin (up to 35% of the total), ‘extractives’ (up to 20% of the total) and ash (around 1%). The proportions of each, and their specific structures, are indicative of the type of tree - oak trees are quite different to maples and poplars. Modern analytical techniques can make use of these differences.

 

There are always these chemicals present in products manufactured from plants. These structures were ‘built’ by the tree - via photosynthesis - using local sources of life elements absorbed from the land, water and air. Mass spectroscopy uses high energy electrons to break apart those structures - forming electrically charged fragments. Under controlled conditions, identical structures break apart consistently producing predictable and unique fragmentation patterns. Being electrically charged, the fragments can be propelled through space using electromagnetic force. Since the speed at which they move is directly proportional to their size and their electrical charge it is possible to determine the original structures in the timber by measuring how long it takes for all the fragments to travel a set distance - their ‘time of flight’. In addition, the local sources of life elements exhibit measurable variation from place to place, making it possible to determine where the tree grew, often to within less than 50 km.

 

Bringing it all together

 

World Forest ID has been created to bring all the required components together in a coherent, and reliable global service. From designing the reference sample collection programme, to building a global network of qualified laboratories and developing the terms and conditions under which samples are analysed to ensure the reference data is maintained over the long term as a ‘public good’ and made available to global supply chain actors, enforcement agencies and researchers the World over.

 

Indeed, it is the configuration of World Forest ID that is so important and compelling. This is a global collaboration project, connecting the dots between existing technologies and institutions, using open data techniques and standards to provide an invaluable service to global timber and indeed planet Earth.

 

World Forest ID has built wood sample collections for over 100 species from 21 countries. It has expanded its work to collect samples of soy, cocoa, and coffee to support the use of science-based traceability for both wood and forest-risk commodities. Tracing wood and these commodities using stable isotopes is included in the legislation that is being considered by the European Union. It is thus important that those involved in the wood industry understand how these technologies work and where the can be applied.

 

Read more…

 

Go back

Partners News

Registration opens for exhibitors at the CBFP MOP 19 Exhibition Centre

We are pleased to hereby inform you that exhibition registration for the CBFP MoP19 is open. The exhibition space offers your organization the opportunity to present your work, initiatives, projects and expertise to the participants of the MoP19. Exhibitors are able to rent a stand package at set prices with options for customization and additional equipment. To register as Exhibitor at the 19th Meeting of Parties of the Congo Basin Forest Partnership (CBFP), please fill out this form online before May 30, 2022.

19th Meeting of the Parties (MOP) July 5-8, 2022, in Libreville, Gabon: Registration is open until May 20, 2022!

If you wish to attend the 19th MoP of the CBFP and related events, please register before 20th May 2022 by completing the form below and clicking on the button “register”. It will not be possible to attend the meeting without a properly completed registration procedure.

19th Meeting of the Parties, July 5-8, 2022, in Libreville, Gabon: Registration is closing on May 20, 2022!

This is a reminder that registrations for the 19th Meeting of Parties (MoP) of the Congo Basin Forest Partnership in Libreville, Gabon, from 5 to 8 July 2022 are CLOSING IN 2 DAYS. Please note, that you can only attend with a completed registration. Please register here...

Mongolia flood defence project shows the way for urban adaptation - The Green Climate Fund

Mongolia flood defence project shows the way for urban adaptation. The project incorporates infrastructural upgrades with the formation of community action groups to improve the capital’s flood resilience . A project in Mongolia, which incorporates a wide range of initiatives and aims to build the resilience of high-risk communities, is directly confronting the burden of urban climate impacts.

 

The Green Climate Fund (GCF) Board holds second meeting of 2022

The 32nd meeting of the GCF Board is taking place in person in Antigua and Barbuda from May 16-19. The meeting, one of four scheduled this year, follows on the heels of the first Board meeting where USD 187.7 million was approved for new climate projects and major changes to GCF’s accreditation framework were approved.  The changes aim to accelerate climate finance for developing countries and include strengthening the existing accreditation model and introducing the project-specific assessment approach (PSAA).

Expert meeting on the EU Regulation on deforestation-free products – FERN

The proposed EU Regulation on deforestation-free products aims to ensure goods cannot be placed on the EU market if they have caused deforestation, forest degradation, or violated producer country laws. The Commission released a draft proposal of the Regulation on 17 November 2021, and now the European Parliament (EP) and the Council must agree on their positions. On 24 March 2022, the EP rapporteur Luxembourgish Member of the European Parliament (MEP), Christophe Hansen of the centre-right European People’s Party (EPP), released his draft response.

New International Maritime Organization guidelines to combat wildlife smuggling – TRAFFIC

Global shipping to focus on bringing down the illegal networks exploiting maritime supply chains to traffic wildlife. On the 13 of May 2022, the 46th Meeting of the Facilitation Committee (FAL46) of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) adopted new ‘Guidelines for the Prevention and Suppression of the Smuggling of Wildlife on Ships Engaged in International Maritime Traffic’.

Brief Highlights Role for Human Rights-based Approach to Achieve SDG 6 - IISD

Fifty years after the 1972 Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment, which put “health and sanitation” on the international agenda, ensuring water and sanitation for all “remains one of the world’s biggest challenges.” A ‘Still Only One Earth’ policy brief from IISD argues that for universal access to become a reality,

UNCCD’s Global Land Outlook Calls for “Activating” Land Restoration Agenda – IISD

The UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) has issued the second edition of its flagship report titled, ‘Global Land Outlook: Land Restoration for Recovery and Resilience’ (GLO2). The publication outlines various future land scenarios, and highlights the potential contributions of land restoration investments to climate change mitigation, biodiversity conservation, poverty reduction, and human health, among other SDGs.

World Congress Urges Shared Responsibility Over Forests for Multiple SDGs – IISD

Delegates at the 15th meeting of the World Forestry Congress (XV WFC) called for immediate action to protect forests, forestry, and forest stakeholders as providers of nature-based solutions to climate change, biodiversity loss, land degradation, hunger, and poverty. They encouraged “actions for a green, healthy and resilient future with forests” as a contribution to the SDGs, the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, the post-2020 global biodiversity framework, and a green recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

FAO Flagship Outlines Forest Pathways for Tackling Planetary Crises - IISD

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) has launched its biennial flagship report on the state of the world’s forests (SOFO), which explores three intertwined forest pathways to achieve green recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic while tackling climate change and biodiversity loss, among other “multidimensional planetary crises.”

Desertification and Drought Day Calls for New Social Contract for Nature – IISD

A high-level panel marked Desertification and Drought Day 2020 with a discussion focused on the Day’s theme, ‘Food. Feed. Fibre,” and the question, “Is it time for a new social contract for nature?” Ministers and agency heads offered recommendations for addressing vulnerabilities for land management that have been exposed by the COVID-19 pandemic and options for building back better.

The XV World Forestry Congress was held in Seoul from May 2 to 6 – ATIBT

Convening under the theme “Building a Green, Healthy and Resilient Future with Forests,” the Fifteenth meeting of the World Forestry Congress (XV WFC) sought to define the role of forests in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and other major agreements, including the Global Forest Goals, the Paris Agreement on climate change, and the post-2020 global biodiversity framework.

Ministerial call for sustainable timber at the World Forestry Congress in Seoul – ATIBT

At the end of the XV World Forestry Congress held in Seoul from May 2 to 6, 8 ministers signed a text calling for the production and consumption of sustainable wood. Sustainable production and consumption of wood promotes forest conservation, enhances the value of forests and mitigates climate change. Building and living with wood responds to an increased demand for renewable materials and provides impetus for green recovery.

The 1st edition of the Forest Conservation Job Day organized on May 6, 2022 by ERAIFT (DRC) – ATIBT

The Forest Conservation Job Day took place online, on Friday May 6th 2022. This Forest Conservation Job day, which was in its first edition, was co-organised by ERAIFT and the association of its alumni gathered within the « Réseau Africain pour le Développement Durable et Intégré (RADDI) ». The Participants to this event were former ERAIFT students and students from the 3rd and 4th Master's classes actually in training.

The ATIBT welcomes the company Gilmour & Aitken, located in Scotland

The Board of Directors of the ATIBT validated the membership application of this trading and sawing Gilmour & Aitken Ltd are suppliers and stock holders of a comprehensive range of high quality sawn and engineered hardwood and softwood timber products.   Established in 1852 and now in its 5th generation, the business prides itself on its product expertise, stock range and customer service.

COP 15 : World leaders at the Abidjan summit on desertification unanimously agree time to safeguard the future of land is now – CAN

Heads of States and governments at the fifteenth session of the Conference of Parties(COP15) of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) have made a clarion call to the international community to take urgent measures to avert loss of live and source of livelihood threatening the world today as result of the devastating effects of desertification, land degradation and drought.

Monrovia Calling – FERN

A consortium of investigative journalists in Liberia are shining a spotlight on the country’s forest sector – with some remarkable results. Starting at 4pm every Thursday, one of Liberia’s best-known radio stations, OK FM 99.5, broadcasts a live one-hour show that’s possibly the only one of its kind in the world.

Forests and Indigenous land rights will be key in Brazil’s upcoming general election – FERN

In early April 2022, I had the chance to travel to Brazil to consult with Fern’s partners and attend the yearly Free Land Camp organised by Brazil’s Articulation of Indigenous Peoples (APIB) in Brasilia. This trip gave me a snapshot of where the people with whom we work stand in this crucial year for the country.

European biomass industry confirms it is burning large amounts of “low-quality stemwood” (tree trunks) – FERN

On 5 April, the Forest Defenders Alliance published an impactful visual investigation, revealing that “many wood-burning power plants and wood pellet manufacturing plants in the EU appear to be using trees logged directly from forests, despite claims to use sawdust and other mill waste for fuel and feedstock”. Surprisingly, industry confirmed the report’s findings, proving the importance of ensuring that the EU’s renewed Renewable Energy Directive (RED) takes a strong line on which types of material should, and should not be burnt.

Parliament could still push for ambitious forest climate policy – FERN

Despite the urgency of the climate crisis and the importance of reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from land use and forestry, some Members of the European Parliament (MEPs), Member States and private actors continue to try to downgrade climate ambition. In upcoming votes about the proposed Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry (LULUCF) Regulation, there are hopes that the European Parliament will set a more positive course.  

State of the Forest 2021 Report presented in the COMIFAC Pavilion during the World Forestry Congress - A product of the German CBFP Facilitation

The "State of the Forests" report is a flagship product of the CBFP partners' efforts, especially of the EU, which is the main donor of OFAC.  The production of this report remains a major challenge for each CBFP Facilitation. We are there!!! The State of the Forest 2021 (SOF 2021) report is the seventh in the series published since 2005. The previous report was released in 2015 at the 15th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Paris.

World Forestry Congress: “Scaling up forest landscape restoration in the central Africa” at COMIFAC-ECCAS Pavilion Initiatives

Seoul (Republic of Korea) World Forest Congress, 5 Mai 2022 – at COMIFAC-ECCAS Pavilion Initiatives, a special session was organized on “Accelerating and Scaling up forest landscape restoration under the Bonn Challenge and AFR100 in the central Africa”. The Session was moderated by the German CBFP Facilitation and had as panelists IUCN and the African Union (NEPAD/AFR100).

IUCN Africa Protected Area Congress at the heart of the COMIFAC-ECCAS Pavilion Initiative at the 15th World Forestry Congress

Seoul (Republic of Korea) World Forest Congress, 5 Mai 2022 – IUCN Africa Protected Area Congress was presented by Mr. KARANGWA Charles Regional Head of Land Systems and Country Representative, IUCN Rwanda, in a special hybrid session in the COMIFAC-ECCAS Pavilion.

Helping forest and farm producers through hard times – FAO

Welfare support for forest and farm producers has become even more important in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, as it wrecked economies and livelihoods across the globe. But the Forest and Farm Facility (FFF) has stepped up to the plate. Over the course of 2021, more than 56,000 forest and farm producers in Africa, Asia and Latin America received food aid, hygiene products or government social protection schemes thanks to the work of FFF-supported forest and farm producer organizations (FFPOs).

West Africa exchange visits to empower women in fisheries value chains – FAO

Women fish processors and sellers learn new techniques from their colleagues in order to make their jobs safer and their products more competitive 4 April, Abidjan/Dakar/Praia/Rome - The FAO Coastal Fisheries Initiative in West Africa (CFI-WA) has organized three exchange visits aimed at strengthening the role of women in fisheries value chains in Cabo Verde, Côte d'Ivoire, and Senegal.

As forests fall, Zambians race to find alternatives to logging – GEF

Located in Zambia’s North-Western Province, the greater Kafue National Park and West Lunga ecosystem complex was once home to an abundance of ancient rosewood trees and a host of other endemic and endangered species. Now, aerial views reveal slabs of fallen trees peppering black holes in the green forest canopy. Fenced clearings open up to piles of orange rosewood, stacked high in the grounds of a sawmill

WFC - Side Event CBFP/CAFI: Saving our planet’s second-largest lung – How the Congo Basin contributes to protecting global climate and threatened biodiversity and how it should be supported

Join this discussion on Calls for a “Fair Deal” that addresses the protection, sustainable use, and good governance of the central African Forest ecosystems of the Congo basin by the riparian countries of COMIFAC in exchange for an adequate share of international climate and biodiversity funds. Wednesday 4th May 2022, SEOUL, 5:30 PM KST - 7:00 PM KST Where:  Room. E5. Third floor.

Exhibition at MOP19: registration will be open soon!

We are pleased to hereby inform you that exhibition registration for the CBFP MoP19 will be open soon. The exhibition space offers your organization the opportunity to present your work, initiatives, projects and expertise to the participants of the MoP19. Exhibitors will be able to rent a stand package at set prices with options for customization and additional equipment.

Thousands of pastoralists seek refuge in Waza National Park, Cameroon

Our investigation found that at the height of the clashes between fishers and pastoralists on 9 December, Shuwa Arab elders consulted each other and contacted Park guards by phone before deciding to enter the Park. The following day, Shuwa Arab men, women and children walked 20 km to the centre of the Park, continuing 2 days later to a nearby waterhole. There they were initially summoned by the Park warden to leave the Park but allowed to stay to recover from their journey. After 1 week, pastoralists continued through the inundated part of the Park to the north-east where they stayed until 20 January, when all but two of the 17 groups left the Park. The Park offered safety for the pastoralists, but the conditions were harsh for families and livestock, resulting in considerable loss of sheep and donkeys; three cattle were predated by lions.