WASHINGTON – Participants at an international forum on illegal logging heard how actions such as government regulations, market demand, and increased knowledge are helping to combat illegal logging – but that the issue demands further vigilance and effort.

The 4th Potomac Forum on Illegal Logging and Associated Trade, hosted by Forest Trends on May 4 with support from the Sustainable Forestry Initiative Inc. (SFI), the World Bank, and others, explored changes that are having a positive impact, including government regulations such as the Lacey Act in the United States and the European Union (EU) Timber Regulation, increased market demand for legal products, and growing expertise among conservation groups and the private sector.

The one-day forum brought together more than 100 experts. In addition to SFI Inc. and the World Bank, sponsors included the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), PROFOR, the U.S. Forest Service and Forest Legality Alliance.

“This kind of gathering shows how we can reduce the social, environmental and economic damage caused by illegal logging if we work together to increase knowledge and look for practical solutions,” said Forest Trends President Michael Jenkins. “Market choices are having a direct impact, and this in turn helps to improve forest conservation and the livelihoods of people.”

Forest Trends is an international non-profit organization that works to expand the value of forests to society by promoting sustainable forest management and conservation.

Posted by Karen Koenig

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