Workshop for Russian companies exporting timber to international markets
With that in mind, WWF/GFTN-Russia and TRAFFIC, The Wildlife Trade Monitoring Network, organised the Legality Workshop & Training for Companies Exporting Forest Products to the European Union and other International Markets, in conjunction with the XV St. Petersburg International Forestry Forum on 8-9 October 2013.
About 50 participants – comprising forest products exporters and their suppliers; government officials; forest managers; and representatives of non-government organisations (NGOs), universities, consulting companies, FSC and the World Bank – attended the event. The high level of interest to this workshop stems largely from the legislative changes in key timber markets such as the US, European Union (EU) and Australia. Apart from having made it illegal to trade timber harvested in breach of applied legislation of a country of harvest, the new legislation also requires timber importers to EU to develop and introduce due diligence systems to assess and minimise risks of supplying illegal timber or, face serious penalties.
“Timber legality is one of the key aspects of sustainable forestry. It is important to know that according to new international timber regulations not only loggers are responsible for legality but also their clients – timber importers to EU, US and Australia. Transformation of larger timber products markets is becoming a reality now and Russian loggers and timber traders have to adapt to new requirements of these markets to retain their positions,” said Elena Kulikova, Head of WWF-Russia Forest Program.