ClientEarth has created an online portal providing links to sources of information on national forestry law worldwide.The environmental law charity says that the Forest Logbook hub is targeted at ‘forest defenders’ and managers, including lawyers, communities NGOs, importers, logging operators and regulators.
Selected by its lawyers, ClientEarth maintains the information sources listed provide unbiased legal information regarding the forestry sector, and cover forest governance and measures affecting commodities ‘that currently rely on forest clearing, such as palm oil and soy’.
The pages for each country on the site include links for their forestry and environment ministries and other government contacts and their relevant section on the FAOLEX food, agriculture and natural resources legislative and policy database.
Other linked resources include the ETTF/ATIBT Timber Trade Portal, WRI/MEFCP Interactive Forest Atlas, Global Forest Watch Open Data Portal Interactive Map and in the global section to the IMM. There are also links for VPA supplier countries to the pages detailing their progress through the VPA process on the EFI FLEGT Facility website.
Users can access legal briefings on the state of countries’ timber sector, where available, and details of enforcement cases for both supplier and consumer countries, such as under the EU Timber Regulation and US Lacey Act.
“With so many laws across different jurisdictions, and different organisations providing resources on forest legality, we saw a need to build a database that centralises everything in one place,” said ClientEarth climate and forest programme officer Heather Kingsley, adding that providing easy access to current forestry law would ‘empower anyone working to protect forests.”
ClientEarth says that the Logbook would continue to evolve and it is encouraging users to keep them informed on latest forest regulatory developments worldwide.
“We are adding resources to it regularly and plan to add new types of information in the future,” said Ms Kingsley. “At first we focussed on timber legality, but hopefully in the future we will be able to expand this out and add further resources on things like certification schemes. If site visitors have any information on certification schemes that fits our requirement for unbiased material, we invite them to let us know.”