A new guide on the illegal timber trade has been released in a global effort to clamp down on timber trafficking crimes.
The Best Practice Guide for Forensic and Timber Identification was prepared by the United Nations Office on Drug and Crime (UNODC), with a substantial contribution from the Environment Institute’s Dr Eleanor Dormontt. Dr Dormontt is an expert in the field of illegal timber trafficking and her research was recently featured in New Scientist.
The Guide was developed in response to international concerns about the loss of global biodiversity and degradation of natural ecosystems. In particular, the illegal trafficking of wildlife and timber has been recognised as a significant threat to global conservation efforts.
Forensic science may be used to clamp down on illegal timber trafficking by providing solid evidence in prosecution cases against criminals. However, the collection of forensic data must follow strict procedures to be credible and admissable in court.
The Guide aims to provide a uniform approach to the collection of forensic data of timber and is intended for worldwide use. The Guide was officially launched in May in Vienna and is now available for pdf download.
Further information can be found at the UNODC Wildlife and Forest Crime Publications website.