About the Initiative

The Forest Legality Initiative (FLI) at the World Resources Institute (WRI) aims to reduce illegal logging through three levers: by increasing capacity and buy-in for compliance with laws and regulations in the private sector; by increasing transparency within the forest products trade and improving access to information on forest operations; and by catalyzing the application of wood identification technologies to verify claims about the species and origin of forest products.

The Initiative emerged from the Forest Legality Alliance (FLA) in 2016. The FLA was formed in 2010 by the WRI and the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA), with support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The Alliance was an international, multi-stakeholder initiative designed to achieve better forest governance and biodiversity conservation by reducing demand for illegally harvested forest products and by increasing the capacity of supply chains to deliver legal wood and paper.

While the formal membership model of the FLA ended with the transition, FLI continues to work in close partnership with many of the FLA’s former members. As there are now a number of countries and regions that have enacted demand side timber regulations - including the European Union, Australia, Japan, Korea, and the UK - our geographic scope has grown since 2016.


Timber and paper are among the world’s most commonly used and traded commodities. In many regions, however, illegal logging has devastating impacts. Illegal logging and trade in associated products can take many forms, from cutting valuable trees in a national park to avoiding taxes and fees. It contributes to deforestation, biodiversity loss, and greenhouse gas emissions, deprives governments of public revenue, undermines the rule of law and fosters corruption, and can lead to social conflict and human rights violations.

Our work is divided into three main categories: Better Business Practices, Decision Support Toolsand Forest Governance and Policy.