Tackling a Global Problem: Illegal Logging

Nadine Block, Senior Director, Government Outreach

SFI is proud to be a sponsor of an important upcoming event that tackles a major global problem: the Fourth Potomac Forum on Illegal Logging and Associated Trade, hosted by Forest Trends on May 4 in Washington DC. Co-sponsors include the World Bank, USAID, and the Forest Legality Alliance. The objective of the Potomac Forum is to develop a better understanding of the different initiatives currently being undertaken by governments, industry, and NGOs related to the global trade of legally sourced wood products. Speakers will address experiences with the Lacey Act, views on the recently passed EU Timber Regulation, and other important topics. SFI will participate as a speaker on a panel exploring how certification standards are working with the new regulations.

SFI’s support for the Potomac Forum comes through our Conservation and Community Partnerships Grant Program which fosters partnerships between organizations interested in improving forest management in the United States and Canada, and responsible procurement globally.

SFI’s support for the Potomac Forum ties directly to the SFI 2010-2014 Standard requirements related to avoidance of controversial sources, including Performance Measure 12.1: “Program participants shall ensure that their fiber sourcing programs support the principles of sustainable forestry, including efforts to thwart illegal logging” and Performance Measure 13.1: “Program participants shall avoid controversial sources and encourage socially sound practices.”

The Potomac Forum, which SFI is sponsoring for the third time, is one of several activities that SFI is engaged in to take action on illegal logging and to raise awareness about the role of certification standards in supporting the multitude of market and policy demands for non-controversial, or legal, wood products. An SFI grant is also supporting the World Resources Institute (WRI) in the creation of the Forest Legality Alliance Risk Tool, an open access, map-based, global information hub so users can conduct due diligence on forest trade. SFI is a member of the Forest Legality Alliance and will be hosting a webinar on illegal logging with WRI in June. Wherever you fall along the forest supply chain, we hope you will participate in one of these activities and learn more about the important initiatives being undertaken to address a major global problem.

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