Tuning in: Tracking Wood from Honduran Forests to U.S. Guitars

The Forest Legality Alliance series of case studies is intended to show commercial buyers of wood and paper-based products, especially those who trade in species and/or source from places with a perceived risk of illegality, how their supply chains can conform with U.S. legal requirements on importing certain types of wood. They draw lessons from emerging best practices for managing risk in high-risk contexts to identify and highlight potential problem areas, as well as pragmatic opportunities for reducing the complexity of compliance.

Afinando: Rastreando Madera Proveniente de Bosques Hondureños a las Guitarras Estadounidenses

Esta serie de estudios de caso pretende demostrarles a los compradores comerciales de madera y de productos basados en el papel, especialmente aquellos quienes comercializan especies y/o extraen de lugares con un percibido riesgo de ilegalidad, cómo sus cadenas de suministro pueden avenirse a los requisitos de legalidad de los Estados Unidos, referentes a la importación de ciertos tipos de madera.

FLA Newsletter No. 9 (Oct. 2012)

The ninth newsletter of the Forest Legality Alliance (October 2012) discusses the implications of the settlement reached by Gibson Guitar and the Justice Department that resolved two outstanding Lacey Act cases, among the first under the new timber provisions of the Act. Another piece, summarizing a major outreach event in Mexico City in August 2012, offers an overview of legality issues in Latin America. The newsletter also gives an update on the RELIEF Act and the passage of the Australian Illegal Logging Prohibition Bill of 2012.

FLA Newsletter No. 8 (July 2012)

The eighth newsletter of the Forest Legality Alliance (July 2012) covers the May 2012 meeting of the Forest Legality Alliance. New FLA tools to help bring information to supply chains, including a Lacey Act declaration tool, a risk information tool, and a sustainable procurement guide, are profiled. Guest articles from Marius F.M. Ekue (Bioversity International) and Wim Ellenbroek (The Borneo Initiative) discuss the Global Timber Tracking Network to use technology to fight illegal logging and the market for Indonesian FSC certified wood products, respectively.

FLA Newsletter No. 7 (April 2012)

The seventh newsletter of the Forest Legality Alliance (April 2012) covers new reports on legality issues in Peru, efforts to comply with the UK government's timber procurement policy in advance of the London Olympics, the World Bank's views on law enforcement to address forest crime, and Vietnam's efforts to meet export market legality requirements. The edition also covers a controversy in Belgium over the EU Timber Regulation; proposed changes to the Lacey Act in the U.S. Congress; and the third tabling of the Australian illegal logging prohibition bill.

FLA Newsletter No. 6 (March 2012)

The sixth newsletter of the Forest Legality Alliance (March 2012) recaps the December 2011 meeting of the Forest Legality Alliance and carries guest articles from Greg Asner on the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (U.S.) and from Michael Martin on the U.S. hardwood industry's advocacy work in Washington, DC.

FLA Newsletter No. 5 (Sept. 2011)

The fifth newsletter of the Forest Legality Alliance (September 2011) covers the August 2011 raid on facilities belonging to Gibson Guitars, along with updates on the EU Timber Regulation from the International Tropical Timber Organization.

FLA Newsletter No. 4 (July 2011)

The fourth newsletter of the Forest Legality Alliance (July 2011) covers a variety of new tools and publications and an outbreak of violence targeting environmental activists in various countries.

FLA Newsletter No. 3 (May 2011)

The third newsletter of the Forest Legality Alliance (May 2011) covers stakeholder outreach in Vietnam and Indonesia; Potomac Forum and Forest Legality Alliance meetings in Washington, DC; and certification and the Lacey Act. A guest post by Elizabeth Baldwin discusses the wood products industries' green credentials.

Are Your Wood Products Really Certified?

In November 2009, federal agents raided a Gibson Guitar manufacturing facility in Tennessee as part of an investigation under the Lacey Act. Agents were investigating the alleged use of illegally sourced wood from Madagascar in some of Gibson’s well-known musical instruments. If proven, import or use of such wood can constitute a serious felony punishable with large fines for the company and possible jail terms for any executives involved.