News

CITES-ITTO Cooperate to Support Timber Tracking

6 June 2012: The Secretariat of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and the Secretariat of the International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO) have agreed to support Parties' efforts to use modern tracking technologies for certain tree species. The agreement was reached during a workshop on "tracking technologies for forest governance," hosted by Malaysia, in Kuala Lumpur, from 15-17 May 2012.

Workshop participants worked to revise the draft Compendium on Timber Marking and Tracking Technologies, which includes the agreement on the ITTO-CITES cooperation programme. The final Compendium will be published later this year as part of the ITTO Technical series.

The ITTO-CITES cooperation supports Parties in generating biological information on timber species of concern. The information, in turn, allows key timber exporting countries to set management plans and sustainable logging quotas. CITES notes that a remaining challenge is to demonstrate that countries have a robust chain of custody, which is why tracking technologies are a key tool for importing countries to know that the imported timber can be regarded as sustainably and legally sourced.

Another tool used to strengthen the control of  trade, for example in mahogany from Peru, has been to set an annual export quota. Timber marking and tracking technologies can help countries strengthen their chains of custody and improve the transparency of the operations when managing an annual export quota. In addition, the use of timber tracking technologies and the monitoring of the whole chain of the timber production can also strengthen non-detriment findings (NDFs). [CITES Press Release]