The GTTN Service Providers Directory is designed as a system to help anyone in need of wood identification services, to find information on available scientific methods and tools (wood genetics, wood chemistry and wood anatomy) and to identify a capable laboratory. Finding the right laboratory will depend on what needs to be checked. Case-defining parameters are: tree species, geographical origin, geographical resolution (e.g. region, country, concession), product type (e.g. logs, lumber, furniture, fibre board, paper and carton), specific law enforcement requirements (e.g. protocols and standards) and possibly also method preferences.
Different timber tracking methods may be suitable to answer different questions; reference data availability is typically a key constraint to whether a method can be used to assess a particular claim in terms of verification of species or origin. A typical question would be to check if the species and origin of wood products are correctly specified in the trading documentation. In a next step this might evolve to “what species is it and where is this sample from?” – a much more difficult analysis question to solve.
Different requirements may also apply to the accuracy levels required in high-throughput due diligence/due care applications when compared to forensic applications that have to produce results with high accuracy that does not leave room for interpretation when used in legal court proceedings.
The SPD serves the following main user groups, each having differentiated requirements:
- Law enforcement, including customs needing to rapidly check large amounts of incoming shipments of wood or products made from wood at ports or border crossings, as well as including police forces requiring very high accuracy assessment fit for judiciary proceedings;
- Commercial operators needing to exercise due diligence – as required by legislation in most of the main consumer markets – to manage both legal, economic and reputation risks associated with non-transparently or illegally traded products;
- Scientists might also need to use the service, for example when they are not able to analyse a sample themselves, and do not know who else has the competence to do so.
A trial version of this service is expected to come online during Fall 2018. In a first step, laboratories already having a record in the database, will be requested to update their information. Thenceforth the SPD will be ready for operational use, while it will be open to constant updates by participating labs.