Aug 9 2012
Aug 10 2012
Legal Forest Products and International Trade: A Regional Perspective

Casa Lamm, Mexico City

On August 9 and 10, 2012, the Forest Legality Alliance, in cooperation with our partners at Reforestamos México, convened a regional conference on timber legality and trade in Latin America at Casa Lamm in Mexico City. The event was well attended by a broad range of representatives from industry, governments, and civil society from fourteen countries. A full (35 pages) and executive (4 pages) summary of the event, the agenda for the two-day conference, and presentations from many of the experts who spoke on conference panels can be found below.

Event Recap

In August 2012, the Forest Legality Alliance (FLA) and Reforestamos México co-hosted the event “Legal Forest Products and International Trade: A Regional Perspective.” The Alliance is a joint effort of the World Resources Institute and the Environmental Investigation Agency, supported by the United States Agency for International Development.

The event brought together more than 100 participants from more than 8 countries from private companies, civil society organizations, Mexican and U.S. government agencies, trade associations and academia. The group focused on the following objectives:

  • Discussing and analyzing interregional timber trade.
  • Discussing and analyzing forest legality challenges and how legality issues and the forest products trade impacts Latin America’s small and medium-sized enterprises, including community forest enterprises.
  • Providing information to the producers and exporters about the legal requirements of timber products in the international market and its increased demand.

Interregional trade  in this region is not well known and there are information barriers that impede a deep understanding of the value and volume of the timber product flow in the region. The European Forest Institute is supporting a study to understand the regional dynamics. Moreover, representatives of Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Colombia and Peru discussed illegal logging in their countries and proposed specific actions against illegal logging on a national level.

Reducing the demand for timber products that originate from illegal sources in national and international markets is an important way to address the problem of illegal logging. Half of the event was dedicated to discussing the current requirements of timber products from legal sources at the international market, both from private buyers and trade regulations. United States government representatives, the European Forest Institute and international corporations guided the discussion of the Lacey Act, the European Timber Regulation, and private sector purchasing practices.

The event concluded with a discussion on initiatives and resources available to help promote the demand for timber products from legal sources and equipping value chains for those that supply legal products, as well as Initiatives and resources, including the Forest Legality Alliance and a series of existing and emerging technologies that can help businesses to track and control the risks of illegal timber in their value chains.

August 9th
9:30 - 10:30 : Forest Legality in Latin America: An Overview
11:00 - 1:00 : Forest Legality and Trade in Latin America: Select Countries 
2:00 - 3:45 : Small Forest Enterprises and the Timber Trade 
4:15 - 5:30 : Implications & Perspectives from Mexican Forestry Sector 
August 10th
9:30 - 11:00 : Emerging Global Legislation affecting trade in wood products
11:30 - 1:00 : International Buyer’s Perspectives
  • Moderator: Ernesto Herrera (Reforestamos Mexico)
  • Chris Cosgrove (Taylor Guitars)
  • Ashley Amidon (International Wood Products Association - IWPA
  • Leo Schlesinger (Masisa México)
2:00 - 3:00 : Technology Tools to Promote the Trade of Legal Wood Products 
3:30 - 4:30 : Stakeholder Initiatives to Promote Trade of Legal Wood Products 
  • Moderator: Tom Bewick
  • Sistema Nacional de Veedurías Forestales Comunitarias - George Cunachi (Asociación Interétnica de Desarrollo de Selva Peruana - AIDESEP) 
  • Ruth Nogueron (Forest Legality Alliance)
  • Eduardo Jr. Arenas (Reforestamos México)
  • Didier Devers (EFI)
  • Daniel Arancibia (WWF-GFTN)