Timber Expert Group Meeting, 7-9 October 2015

UNODC, within the framework of ICCWC, convened an Expert Group Meeting in Vienna in December 2014 that brought together the law enforcement and scientific communities. Participant experts included individuals from various national agencies, forensic and research scientists, front line law enforcement officials and legal experts. The meeting highlighted the need to address and discuss the challenges specific to timber identification cases and the processes and practicalities of the different areas of work and related expertise required. It also emphasized the necessity for increased communication and cooperation between the communities.

UNODC, ICCWC, and subject matter experts from around the world continued collaborative work for the development of a guide on the subject, and finalised its details at a reconvened meeting in Vienna last week. The work covered the whole chain of custody, including information on the collection, analysis and interpretation of forensic timber identification evidence as well as exploring the options for further development of forensic best practices to support law enforcement investigations leading to successful prosecutions.

Extensive discussions centred around the development of training materials and a ‘Decision Tree’, which will assist customs officials in making decisions on the front line with regard to possible illegal shipments of timber.


United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime
Vienna International Centre
Global Programme for Combating Wildlife and Forest Crime 
Sustainable Livelihoods Unit 
P.O. Box 500, 1400 Vienna, Austria 
Email: [email protected], Tel:(+43-1) 26060-83040, skype / unodc.slu