An International Conference on DNA and isotopic Typing Methods in Eschborn (Germany)


The final report of the international conference is now available.


Please download also the flyer on Genetic and Isotopic Fingerprinting methods


Under the initiative of the Federal Ministry for Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection (BMELV), with the joint support of Forest Trust (TFT), the Johann Heinrich von Thünen Institute (vTI), the Technical Control Service TÜV Rhénanie / AgroIsolab, GTZ and WWF, an international conference was held from 3rd to 4th November 2010 at Eschborn in the Federal Republic of Germany under the theme “Genetic and isotopic fingerprinting Methods – Practical Tools for Checking the Indicated Origin of Wood”. The conference was attended by FLEGT focal points, representatives of forest administrations and the Congo Basin research centres.


In his opening address, Stefan Paulus, the Director of the GTZ “Environment and Climate” Division, stressed the importance of this meeting in the search for solutions to control illegal logging. Before wishing success to the conference, he expressed his satisfaction to welcome participants who came in great number from all continents to exchange on Genetic and isotopic fingerprinting methods. The Secretary General of the Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife (MINFOF) of Cameroon, Mr Denis Koulagna, indicated the importance of Cameroon’s participation in this innovative initiative. He went on to recall that Cameroon signed on 06 October the APV/FLEGT Agreement, which sets a FLEGT clearance system between Cameroon and the European Union. This system will henceforth govern timber exportation from Cameroon into the European Union. The Secretary General concluded his speech with the hope that all the countries of the Congo Basin will adopt DNA and isotopic typing methods, in line with the ongoing FLEGT process.


The opening ceremony was followed by plenary sessions with thematic presentations made by experts focussing on seven points including: (1) Introduction to Genetic and isotopic fingerprinting methods (2) Introduction to Wood Traceability and the Role of Fingerprinting (3) Lessons from the Development of Wood Traceability Systems (4) Practical Experience in Terms of Technical Fingerprinting (5) Reflection of the CITES Authority (6) Use of Typing techniques: Point of View of Wood Retailers (7) Database and Other Challenges to Practical Application (8) Potential and Challenges related to Typing Techniques for Private Companies.  After these presentations, group work sessions were organised one the theme "Scientific Discussion on Results and Perspectives" and "Exchanges between Producing Countries, Private Sector and Consuming Countries on Various Matters and the Next Possible Steps". 


At the end of deliberations, participants made recommendations to States and all stakeholders for the practical implementation of Genetic and isotopic fingerprinting methods in the field, especially concerning: (1) the operationalization of Genetic and isotopic fingerprinting methods with the idea of a new international facility whose mission shall be to coordinate research, to lead networks, to establish volunteer international standards and to implement the database  (2) the operation of the international database on Genetic and isotopic fingerprinting methods (3) the involvement of COMIFAC at the highest level in discussions on Genetic and isotopic fingerprinting methods



Especially for the Congo Basin, a workshop is planned to hold under the theme DNA and Isotopic Typing Methods in March 2011 in Yaoundé. It shall be jointly organised by TFT and Johann Heinrich von Thünen Institute (vTI), with the financial support of ITTO and the Federal Ministry for Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection (BMELV).


For further information, please contact: Wittmann Tobias ( and von Scheliha, Dr. Stefanie (


Conference Documents available here


Note d'introduction, Ministère de la Forêt et de la Faune (MINFOF), Cameroun  - Denis Koulagna, Secrétaire général du ministère

L’appui allemand aux techniques d'empreinte Matthias Schwoerer, Ministère fédéral de l’Alimentation, de l’Agriculture et de la Protection des Consommateurs (BMELV)

Introduction à la traçabilité du bois et au rôle des empreintes - Johannes Zahnen, WWF Allemagne

Brève introduction aux empreintes génétiques et isotopiques, Présentation des résultats des projets Dr Bernd Degen, Johann-Heinrich von Thünen Institute, Génétique forestière et Dr Markus Boner, TÜV Rhénanie / AgroIsolab

Les enseignements tirés du développement de systèmes de traçabilité du bois - Germain Yene, Susanna Lohri, The Forest Trust 

Réflexion de l'autorité de la CITES - Dr Noel McGough, Autorité scientifique CITES du Royaume-Uni chargée des plantes for Plants

Expérience pratique en matière d’application des techniques d'empreinte techniques - Prof Andy Lowe, Doublehelix

Utilisation des techniques d'empreinte : point de vue des détaillants de bois - Michael Momme, Max Bahr

The way ahead: a new international facility for coordination (research, standards, database)

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