Despite the introduction of the European Timber Regulation (EUTR) and increased monitoring and policing efforts, the EU remains one of the largest markets for the global trade in illegal timber.
Illegally logged timber accounts for 15-30 percent of global timber trade and a total worth of up to €90 billion with a significant share sold on the European markets, according to an investigation by Interpol.
With the support of the EU LIFE programme and in cooperation with partners in Italy, France, Belgium, Germany, Spain and the Netherlands, NEPCon has launched the LIFE Legal Wood project to help address this issue.
“There is clearly a need to strengthen the implementation of EUTR and due diligence in member states. It can be extremely difficult for a small or medium-sized company to avoid sourcing illegal wood in a complex supply chain and some are not even aware that the EUTR exists and applies to their business,” said Jakob Ryding, Technical Project Manager at NEPCon. The LIFE Legal Wood project aims to close this knowledge gap.
"Working with partners across Europe, LIFE Legal Wood will create a stronger awareness of the issues involved and provide seminars and free tools to help companies avoid illegal timber in supply chains,” explained Jakob Ryding.
LIFE Legal Wood will work directly with European companies in timber importing industries such as furniture production, retail, packaging and timber wholesale. With free EUTR training workshops, tailormade tools for timber risk assessment and other information resources, the project will support industries as well as authorities in building their EUTR and due diligence capacity.
LIFE Legal Wood Survey
To create the best possible tools and workshops for stakeholders, the LIFE Legal Wood project invites businesses to share their EUTR and wood sourcing experiences by participating in an anonymous online survey. Click here to access the survey.
“Ultimately the project’s aim is to reduce illegal logging and improve forest management globally. This will only happen if we work closely together with wood importers as well as the authorities in the member states to improve efficiency, awareness and compliance in EUTR implementation,” said Jakob Ryding.
Partners of the LIFE Legal Wood project - a continuation of LIFE I (2016-2018) - include NEPCon, Amfori, Baskegur, Cesefor, Conlegno, Etifor, Foresna, GD Holz, Le Commerce du Bois, Probos and the Competent Authorities of Belgium, Germany and Spain.
The project has a budget of 2,445,790 EUR and runs from 2019 to 2022.
This article/publication is developed with the support from the EU LIFE Programme under the LIFE Legal Wood project. The European Commission (donor) is not responsible for any claims or views presented in this material. The European Commission's support for the production of this publication does not constitute endorsement of the contents which reflect the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of information contained therein.
For further information, please contact:
Jakob Ryding, Project Manager, firstname.lastname@example.org +45 2272 0623 (Denmark)