Timtrace will be a timber tracing service. Such forensic tools are not yet available to potential users such as timber industry, authorities and environmental NGOs. Therefore we aim to develop a fast, accurate and cost-effective method, conducted jointly with potential users. We do so by:
- providing proof of concept for promising chemical and genetic techniques,
- standardizing statistical methods and
- contributing to a global timber tracing database.
The service can be used to independently verify the origin of timber based on a sample of the wood all along the supply chain. Therewith it can be used to validate documentation and certificates, in the light of the EU Timber Regulation (EUTR) for example.
Combining methods to increase accuracy
Over the past years, we have assembled a database with stable isotope values of >13,000 entries for 50 timbers from 25 countries. Using this database we are able to correlate large-scale spatial variation in δ18O in wood with isotopic signature of rain water, with potential for isotopic tracing at large spatial scales.
At smaller scale, we have successfully applied microsatellites of the African timber Tali to trace the origin of timber samples to concessions in Cameroon.