News & Blogs

2 Birds, 1 Stone: Fighting Illegal Logging and Wildlife Poaching with Technology

Wildlife trafficking is a growing epidemic. A market for exotic birds and rare seafood delicacies is exploding in Latin America. In Southeast Asia, the rising trade in pangolins – the most trafficked animal on Earth – has driven the small mammals to the brink of extinction, with hunters now pursuing African pangolins to satiate the Asian market.

Event Summary: Development and Scaling of Innovative Technologies for Wood Identification

Type: News
The Seattle Dialogue was convened to help harness wood identification (“wood ID”) technologies as part of efforts to combat illegal logging and associated trade. The meeting brought together some 60 participants, including many of the most renowned wood ID scientists in the United States (and several from overseas), with representatives of federal and state government agencies, key international institutions, NGOs, and illegal logging policy experts.

Save The Date: Washington Forest Legality Week 2017

Type: News
Building on the tradition of the Forest Legality Alliance semi-annual partners’ meeting that WRI hosted in past years, we are pleased to announce that WRI will host the first “Washington Forest Legality Week” October 17-19, with the generous support and cooperation of the U.S. Forest Service.

New Asia-Pacific Trade Agreement Lacks Protections for One-Sixth of World’s Forests

In an era of rising anti-globalization and protectionism, countries in the Asia-Pacific region have turned their eyes to the China-backed Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).

Rainforest CSI: How We’re Catching Illegal Loggers with DNA, Machine Vision and Chemistry

The international timber trade is big business, worth some $226 billion in 2015. Unfortunately, a considerable proportion of this trade is illegal.

Guitar Industry Grapples with Trade Restrictions on Rosewood, One of its Most Prized Timbers

More than 100,000 people recently met in southern California for the 2017 National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) show, an annual gathering for those who buy and sell musical instruments, equipment and just about everything else related to music performance and education.

Building a Sustainable Guitar: Mahogany

A guitar is useless unless it plays perfectly. Even the most beautiful woods can’t make up for poor construction, and the materials chosen ultimately have to serve a practical use. One of the most important parts of the guitar is the neck, which has to stay absolutely stable over years.

Building A Sustainable Guitar: Sitka Spruce

Each fine guitar requires several rare tonewoods from around the world, representing the highest grade of the top 1 percent of all commercially available wood, a niche product with a small supply, large demand and high sales: $1.2 billion in U.S. domestic retail sales in 2014 alone.

Building a Sustainable Guitar: Ebony

The wood underneath a guitar’s strings is called the fretboard. To function properly, it has to be perfectly constructed from wood that is hard, dense and warp-resistant. It must hold metal frets for years without any movement, since even a microscopic amount of fret movement can throw a guitar out of tune. One material is synonymous with fine fretboards: ebony.

PODCAST: The Sounds of Sustainability

In this episode of the WRI Podcast, Lawrence MacDonald sits down with Chip Barber and Austin Clowes of the Forest Legality Initiative to talk about their work on sustainability in the guitar industry.