BVRio Environmental Exchange launched a new smartphone app to help tropical timber traders and buyers to verify the legality of timber and wood products. The Timber Legality Verification System app, which is available and free to download for Android (on Google Play) or for iOS (on iTunes), is also available as a desktop version.
The verification and due diligence process starts with the analysis of documentation from the Brazilian government’s DOF and Sisflora Systems (documents describing timber products’ origin). The information gathered is crosschecked to detect any inconsistencies with internal and external databases, including satellite imagery (including analysis from Global Forest Watch and Brazilian NGOs Imazon and ICV) as well as official databases of infractions of environmental legislation, slave labor, illegal deforestation, environmental infractions, and tax compliance.
Each wood product consignment is verified according to its chain of custody, estimating the probability of risks related to social and environmental infractions. The system is based on big data analysis and has already conducted more than 1 billion crosschecks of data. Databases are updated daily - the more the system is used, the stronger its predictive capacity.
The Timber Legality Verification system is the first component of a Timber Exchange that will be launched in 2016 – a trading platform with the objective to promote the use of tropical wood products from legal sources. The system and the Exchange are currently focused on timber products from Brazil, but in 2016, BVRio will be expanding the system internationally, starting with West Africa.