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FAO launches ''Traceability: A management tool for enterprises and governments''

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has launched a new publication that will help countries and businesses establish effective timber traceability systems.

Setting up a traceability system is a major contribution to demonstrating legal origin of timber at the company or national level.

Traceability: A management tool for enterprises and governments outlines the vital factors to be taken into account when designing a successful traceability system, and explains the importance of made-to-measure systems in different contexts.

The report also illustrates the added benefits of traceability for governments, businesses and community forests – not just as a means of meeting legal requirements but also as a business management tool that can have an impact on yields, working conditions and production efficiency.

Concrete case studies from five African countries supported by FAO’s FLEGT Programme are presented in the publication:

  •  The ONATRACK application set up by the National Timber Office of Benin to manage teak plantations
  • The national traceability system in Liberia, which gives companies a clearer picture of their stock and allows government to ensure receipt of revenue from the sector
  • A system set up by a private logging company in Cameroon that also functions as a decision-making tool by centralizing information about processes
  • A GPS-based surveillance system in the Democratic Republic of the Congo that traces the movements of machinery in the forest
  • A traceability system adapted to a context of small-scale forestry in Gabon to inform government decisions on a regulatory framework on traceability in community forests

The publication is the first in a technical series building on FAO FLEGT Programme experience of projects in Africa, Asia and Latin America, and a second publication with a global emphasis will be published next year.

Download the publication in English, French and Spanish.

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1 December 2016

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