In August 2017, stakeholders from the public sector, academia, and international organization from 18 APEC member economies, as well as representatives from Cambodia, Colombia, Laos, Myanmar, Ecuador, and Germany attended the APEC Workshop on Customs Best Practices to Identify Illegal Timber and Wood Products. The workshop aimed to share best customs practices in responding to trade in illegal wood products, and to strengthen attendees’ abilities to identify legally and illegally traded wood products and take appropriate action when necessary.
Workshop sessions centered around topics of (1) protocols and methodologies to target illegal timber; (2) best practices for timber identification; (3) legal wood product certification programs; (4) protocols for documentation and data review to monitor compliance legality; (5) utilizing timber traceability systems; and (6) taking appropriate actions on illegal shipments. The workshop served as a platform to bring customs officials together around these issues, and highlighted the high level of interest and need for customs and forestry officials to work on identifying and combatting trade in illegal timber and wood products. The workshop also served as a venue for participants to expand their professional networks for a continued exchange of information and future cooperation.
The workshop was sponsored by the United States and co-sponsored by Australia, Canada, Chile, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, and The Philippines, and was implemented with support from APEC, INTERPOL, EU FLEGT Facility/European Forest Institute, and The Nature Conservancy through the Responsible Asia Forestry and Trade (RAFT) Program
The Workshop report is available here.