Published 17 May 2012

Timber tracking technologies under the spotlight

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 17th May 2012—almost 100 timber trade experts from governments, international organizations, industry and non-governmental organizations met this week in Kuala Lumpur to discuss how tracking technologies can improve governance in the forestry sector. 

Chen Hin Keong, TRAFFIC’s Global Forest Trade Programme Leader, addresses delgates this week in Malaysia 

The International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO) sponsored meeting examined the different techniques being used worldwide to track timber, and to share experiences on their effectiveness and application. 

The outcomes of the meeting will include a compendium of tracking technologies, soon be made available on-line to provide guidance to governments and other stakeholders on how tracking technologies can contribute most effectively to improved forest governance. 

Chen Hin Keong, TRAFFIC’s Global Forest Trade Programme Leader, spoke at the meeting about TRAFFIC’s experience, understanding and knowledge of legality issues in the forestry sector, and the potential role of timber tracking systems and technology to support legality efforts. 

TRAFFIC has helped in the development of a Common Framework to assess legality in the timber trade. The Framework has 9 Principles and 24 Criteria covering everything from forest tenure to the timber supply chain. Chen also spoke of the key role of Customs in regulating the timber trade, encouraging officers to look into the possibilities of linking timber tracking systems and Customs protocols with timber trade documentation.