Anniversaries can vary in significance, both to people individually and to wider audiences. On paper, the first anniversary of the introduction of a piece of timber legislation might not be a birthday that is chalked up in many people’s calendar.
But actually, 12 months after the European Union’s Timber Regulation came into force it is a good time to reflect on the impact of the law and to call on governments to do more to ensure that it is enforced effectively.
The EUTR prohibits the placement of any illegally sourced timber – or timber products – on the European market. It marked the culmination of several years work from many organisations –Greenpeace amongst them – and is a big step forward in the worldwide battle against deforestation and forest degradation.
Interpol estimates that illegal logging accounts for more than half – and in some cases up to 90 per cent – of all forestry in key tropical producing countries: a lot of this wood heads to Europe.