2018 Forest Legality Week Summary

Display Name: 
Maite Knorr-Evans
Affiliation: 
WRI

The Forest Legality Initiative, a project of the World Resources Institute (WRI), convened partners and stakeholders in October 2018 in Washington, DC, to advance dialogue and initiatives related to the international trade in timber. The three-day event drew 167 attendees from more than 20 countries. Topics under discussion included the Congo Basin, focusing on the private sector and on independent monitoring; the use of blockchain technologies for supply chain management; forest landscape restoration and legality concerns in Latin America; early warning remote sensing systems for illegal logging; shifting source countries for wood products, the related risks, and the implications for due diligence; and illegalities in Eastern European timber supplies. Side events held before the start and after the close of the main conference included a meeting on blockchain in the forest sector convened by the Freeland Foundation and Generation Blue, an update meeting on efforts to create reference libraries for wood identification methods, a side meeting to discuss developments in China related to illegal logging import controls, a side event hosted by Forest Trends on conflict timber in Myanmar, and a side event to gather input on priorities for the future development of the Open Timber Portal. The U.S. Agency for International Development and the U.S. Forest Service provided generous support for the event. Below is a summary of the conference presentations and discussions. Please note that since the event was webcast and we share the presentations, the presentations are on the record, but we do not attribute any audience comments and questions to individuals. The contents detailed below do not necessarily reflect the views of WRI or conference participants.