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Timber Regulation Enforcement Exchange Workshop

The Themis Network participated in the Timber Regulation Enforcement Exchange (TREE) workshop that took place in Prague on April 5-8, 2016.

The TREE is an ongoing series of networking and information-sharing meetings that bring together enforcement officials every six months. The TREE process supports the robust and consistent enforcement of demand-side timber regulations by providing a forum where officials are able to gain an insight into high- and low-risk timber flows entering their countries; discuss practical enforcement issues with one another and with experts from the forest sector and other related product/environmental sectors; establish emergent norms for due diligence/care in relation to different forest products; and build relationships with producers, country governments, industry representatives, and other stakeholders involved in combating illegal logging and promoting global markets for legal timber.

The workshop in Prague focused on risks and compliance options related to the sourcing of forest products along the EU's eastern borders, as well as in Cameroon, Myanmar and Peru, and also included updates on legislative developments in Indonesia, Korea and Taiwan. The Themis Network's contribution to the workshop was related to the meeting’s partial focus on Eastern Europe and South Eastern Europe, while participants also obtained information on existing forest control systems and best practices in enforcement related to the timber trade.

On the first morning, new stakeholders were introduced to the main sources of legislative control on the timber trade: the Lacey Act in the U.S., the Timber Regulation in the EU, and the Illegal Logging Prohibition Act in Australia. The other participants attended sessions on current sourcing market problems in Ukraine, Cameroon and Peru. The afternoon was devoted to recent legislative developments in Indonesia, Korea and Taiwan. Participants were also presented with a thorough analysis of the Myanmar timber market and its risks. The second day focused on Eastern Europe and South Eastern Europe, with presentations on the Serbian forest management system and its gaps, as well as on illegal logging and exports in Eastern Europe, with the groundbreaking Lumber Liquidators case presented for study.

The remaining two days were closed government sessions.

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