Governmental Use of Science and Technology

Over the last few weeks, we’ve discussed some new forest monitoring technologies and this week, here’s a quick note as to why you should be paying attention to that type of news. 

The organization Forest Trends recently surveyed multiple government agencies in Europe, the US and around the world. While only a slim majority (57%) report actively using various scientific technology in enforcing timber legality laws, over 95% are working on incorporating scientific testing into their system by 2024. 

One of the notes I found interesting was that in the case of the countries who reported regularly using technology, over 80% of them used two or more types. I found that encouraging that they were (hopefully!) picking the right type of science for the issue at hand.  Unsurprisingly, isotopic testing for location authentication is slowly outpacing the use of DNA.

The biggest challenge noted was one we’ve looked at before—making sure there is enough legitimate data available for comparisons. That is true for almost all the types of testing available, but as that increases, expect to see science being used more and more for enforcement.

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Elizabeth Baldwin is Environmental Compliance Officer for Metropolitan Hardwood Floors. In her 25 plus year career in the wood industry has visited over 70 countries and hundreds of facilities of all sizes and types. She describes herself as a “jack of all wood trades.” Familiar with jungles of all sorts–having camped out along the Amazon and walked the halls of Congress–she blogs for the NWFA on both environmental and regulatory issues for educational and informational purposes only. Her blog is not intended and should not be construed as legal advice. Persons seeking legal advice on compliance with CARB, TSCA, the U.S. Lacey Act or any other law, regulation, or compliance requirement/claim should consult with the regulatory agency directly and/or a qualified legal professional.

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