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Preventing illegally logged wood trade to Australia

Australia will take a major step towards preventing the trade of illegally logged wood, with work to expand the world’s largest timber database following the latest Forestry Ministers’ meeting. Source: Timberbiz

As a part of the Albanese Government’s Improving Australia’s illegal logging traceability and timber identification systems Budget measures, a $1.2 million grant has been awarded to World Forest ID (WFID), to create a reference database for the science-based verification of species and origin of harvest.

Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Murray Watt said the information collected will support the industry, as well as consumers.

“WFID is a centralised, global and openly accessible database that can be used for timber testing and identifying species and origins of timber products,” Senator Watt said.

“Expanding the database to include key species traded into Australia will improve our ability to detect illegally logged timber and prevent it from entering the market.

“With this, we can further protect Australia’s sustainable and legal forest industries from being undercut by illegally logged timber products.

“The work will be led by WFID and supported by the internationally recognised Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and collaborating experts within the WFID Science Advisory Group.

“The project will expand the coverage of Australian-based testing services and involve Australian-based wood collections (xylaria) in hosting the samples.

“We will also work closely with our Asia-Pacific neighbours to cover trees that are often the target of illegal logging and better protect forests in our region, in a true win-win scenario.”

Updates to the database have already commenced and are expected to be completed in second half of 2024.