EU TIMBER REGULATIONS GO INTO EFFECT
The European Union implemented measures to prevent illegally harvested timber from entering Europe, a boon to efforts to fight deforestation as the EU accounts for 35 percent of the world's primary timber market. Though the law was passed in October 2010, it is only just coming into force due to measures required by member states and private companies. The EU Timber Regulation will require importers or sellers of wood products to keep records of their suppliers' sources and to participate in a "due diligence" system to ensure that the timber they purchase is legal. Operators will be required to gain access to information relating to shipments' country of origin, quantity, and suppliers' details; evaluate whether the timber was produced in compliance with the laws of the country of origin; and take additional steps to ensure the legality of the timber. The EU said that illegal logging had "severe economic, environmental and social impacts for some of the world's most valuable remaining forests and the billions of people that rely on them." Interpol estimates that illegal timber represents about 30 percent of the total market. For the full story, see http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-21590484.