26/07/2009

Bar codes to control illegal logging?

U K firm Helveta, is addressing that precise question by nailing barcodes into 1 million trees in Africa, South East Asia and South America.

There is a huge loss attached to illegal logging, both material and environmental. Illegal logging costs governments 10 billion Euros to 15 billion Euros in the form of theft and non-collection of taxes. Similarly, rampant illegal logging denudes forest cover and is the second biggest cause of global warming, accounting for 18 to 29 % of the greenhouse emissions in the world.

Both EU and US have legislations in place to stop illegal logging but also to track and verify the timber through technology provided by Helveta and other similar companies.

So that is why Helveta, who raised 3 million pounds in a funding round recently, has nailed bar codes into 1m trees in Africa, Southeast Asia and South America to track them through the supply chain.

Helveta hopes its technology could help countries taking part in the proposed Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation scheme to protect the world's forests as part of the fight against global warming.