On April 24-26, 2018, the Canadian Forest Service, Natural Resources Canada hosted a Timber Identification Workshop at its research center in Quebec City, Quebec.
The workshop focused on opportunities to apply science capacity to increase current ability to identify CITES- and non-CITES listed tree species and their geographic origins. The workshop, which included 27 participants, featured presentations from a diverse group of global experts, including from the US Forest Service, the US Fish and Wildlife Service, the Global Timber Tracking Network, the Thünen Institute, the European Forest Institute, Forest Stewardship Council International, New Mexico State University, Environment and Climate Change Canada, and many others.
Presentations were made on current and emerging wood identification techniques including DNA analysis, chemical imaging and DART-MS chemical fingerprints, macro- and microscopic identification of wood and fiber samples, and exploration of existing databases and collections. Approaches to economic analysis of illegal forest product trade, and ongoing international initiatives that offer opportunities for collaboration were also presented. This work reflects Canada’s interest in the application and development of science to better track forest commodities in trade and, through national and international collaboration, contribute to global efforts to address illegality in forest harvesting and international forest product trade.
Report by Ken Farr, Manager – Science Integration National Capital Region