By Barcoding Trees, Liberia Looks to Save its Rainforests by Fred Pearce: Yale Environment 360   Leave a comment

Can something as simple as barcoding enable Liberia to resume its timber trade while still protecting its forests? The system’s inventors at the British company Helveta call it “the world’s most advanced nationwide verification system for wood products.” Initially funded by USAID, the scheme has covered all the country’s commercial logged forests for the past two years.

Every tree in a forest with a logging concession must be tagged with a unique barcode. When that tree is cut, the action is recorded and new tags are attached to each log. Every log that turns up at a port has to be traceable back to a stump in a forest. It’s as simple and as foolproof as checking out at the supermarket, says Ivan Muir, the local boss of SGS, the Swiss specialists in forest certification systems who are in charge of making it happen. Muir also issues export permits for the timber — which mostly gets turned into furniture and paneling — and monitors royalty payments to the government.”

via By Barcoding Trees, Liberia Looks to Save its Rainforests by Fred Pearce: Yale Environment 360.

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Posted November 27, 2011 by arnoneumann in Africa, Forestry

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