Lacey Act finalist for international award 
In 1900, the Lacey Act became the
nation's first federal wildlife
protection law. It was amended in 
2008 to combat illegal wood trade.

WASHINGTON --

The Lacey Act, amended in 2009 to curb international trade in illegally harvest wood products, has been selected as a finalist of the Future Policy Award administered by the World Future Council (WFC).

The award is designed to applaud exemplary national policies geared toward helping create better living conditions for current and future generations.

The Lacey Act, a 100-year-old law that was adopted to fight wildlife crime, was amended on May 22, 2008, by the U.S. Congress. The amendment extended the act to ban commerce in illegally sourced plants and their derivatives such as timber and wood products.

The WFC noted that the Lacey Act  has been nominated for the Future Policy Award because the United States is “the first country in the world to place an outright, criminally enforceable ban on the import of illegally harvested timber” and addresses illegal logging “both nationally and internationally from the demand side by requiring that importers of wood products and subsequent handlers in the supply chain exercise due care to ensure that wood in their possession is of legal origin. The Lacey Act amendments have forced importers to take responsibility for their wood products and have already produced positive results in increasing due diligence assessments and demand for certified wood products.”

Last year, the European Union Parliament voted on a measure patterned after the Lacey Act to slow the flow of illegal wood products.

Illegal logging and the international trade in illegal timber has been recognized as a major global problem causing environmental damage, costing producer countries billions of dollars in lost revenue, promoting corruption, undermining the rule of law and good governance, and contributing to the funding of armed conflict.

The three winners of the award will be announced on September 21, 2011, at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.

Posted by Rich Christianson

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