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News from Global Partnership Projects

FOREST: Common principles to increase understanding of legal requirements
TRAFFIC and WWF GFTN have developed a common framework for assessing forestry and timber legality. Nine principles and 24 criteria form a comprehensive package to help companies determine the legality of sourced timber and comply with legislation.

The framework is designed to assist companies in understanding the legal requirements of a country, and the procedures, protocols and legal documents needed for the entire supply chain. It can also be used by auditors to verify legal compliance, and by other stakeholders to understand and adhere to the increasingly stringent legal requirements in the US, EU and other important consumer countries.

“Creating a common framework is an essential step in building a system whereby the legality of the global timber trade can be demonstrated,” says Chen Hin Keong, TRAFFIC’s Global Forest Trade Programme Leader. “Thanks to support from IKEA, we have been able to expand our progress in building that framework, making real progress in the quest for ensuring demonstrably legal and sustainable timber supplies worldwide.”

So far, TRAFFIC has assessed the legal requirements to fit seven countries. With IKEA funding, the framework is being populated with an additional five countries. More countries will be added if and when additional funding is secured.
TRAFFIC and WWF GFTN’s legality framework will take on greater importance once the EU Timber Regulation takes effect in March 2013. It gives companies relevant information that they can use to ensure and prove that their supply chains are fully legal. The framework will also help companies that export to the US have greater confidence that their shipment is legal.

TRAFFIC works to ensure that trade in wild animals and plants is not a threat to the conservation of nature by monitoring wildlife trade and providing information to diverse audiences worldwide. TRAFFIC is a joint programme of WWF and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

The Global Forest & Trade Network (GFTN) is a WWF-led partnership that links more than 300 companies, communities, NGOs, and entrepreneurs in more than 30 countries around the world. The goal is to create a new market for environmentally responsible forest products.