Better Business Practices

Forest Governance and Policy works to build the capacity of businesses to comply with legal requirements for forest products in the marketplace. Our work on improving business practices includes two approaches: the Private Sector Due Care Training Program and Traceability Systems. 

Private Sector Due Care Training Program

Demand-side regulations to curtail the trade of illegal wood products require importers to exercise due diligence to ensure they do not inadvertently purchase illegally-sourced wood products. For importers in regulated markets (including the EU, the UK and Australia), laws require them to assess the risk of sourcing illegal timber in their supply chain and take steps to mitigate those risks. For producers supplying these markets, the regulations require them to demonstrate compliance with the laws of their own countries.

However, capacity to demonstrate compliance in many timber producing countries remains limited. Forest Governance and Policy has partnered with the Global Timber Forum, the FAO-FLEGT Programme, the International Tropical Timber Organization, and the International Wood Products Association to create training programs focusing on small and medium-sized forest sector enterprises to build their capacity to comply with legality requirements. These trainings provide companies with an opportunity to learn about best practices in business management operations which will enable them to apply due diligence and risk management systems in their supply chains, and to integrate best practices into their standard operating procedures to ensure and demonstrate compliance.


Tracing the components of a product back to their origins is key to documenting and demonstrating compliance with laws and regulations. Over the past decade, the demand for traceability has increased with the implementation of timber legality regulations. At the same time, new tools and resources are being developed, including physical tracking markers and information platforms designed to increase the transparency of supply chains. However, as new methods and applications emerge, questions remain about their applicability in the field, their scalability and their cost effectiveness. Our activities under this workstream aim to document and share lessons from the development, design, and implementation of timber traceability systems and to test new and emerging tools. The objective is draw lessons from experiences with tools and traceability systems, and to facilitate exchange of information among governments and other actors designing and implementing traceability systems.

Why focus on supply chains? 

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 PracticesDecision Support Toolsand Forest Policy.

Better Business Practices Partnerships and Activities

  • FLI has partnered with International Wood Products Association to develop a Due Care Training Program for compliance with the U.S. Lacey Act, "Seeing the Forest and the Trees”.
  • FLI has partnered with the FAO-FLEGT Programme, the Global Timber Forum, the International Tropical Timber Organization and CITE Madera to create and implement a due care training pilot in Peru.
  • Based on the lessons learned from the pilot in Peru the same group of actors has adapted the materials for a training program, implemented by local partners in Colombia and Guatemala.
  • As a part of the Voluntary Partnership Agreement implementation process in Guyana, WRI is working with the UK Timber Trade Federation to scale up the training program for small logging associations and Amerindian communities.


Ruth NoguerónSenior Associate