The Ivory Coast has successfully completed a trial of timber tracking technology as it looks to comply with the EU’s Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) Action Plan.

Specialist software developer Helveta’s CI World technology was utilised as part of a system tracking timber flows and chain of custody from the standing forest, through processing and onto the point of export. The trial was funded by the International Tropical Timber Organisation (ITTO) as part of its work to enhance the traceability of timber in Africa and other tropical countries.

This has laid the groundwork for a national tracking system according to Helveta, which will help the Ivory Coast in future discussions with the EU regarding a FLEGT Voluntary Partnership Agreement.

“This kind of project and the technology provided by Helveta are key components of improving forest management in Africa and elsewhere,” said Dr Steve Johnson of the ITTO’s secretariat communications unit.

“The improved information on forests and wood flows provided through the project will assist the government of Ivory Coast to ensure that forest rents and royalties are captured, and will help to assure export markets that the country’s forests are well maintained.”

Ivory Coast is the latest tropical country to have implemented Helveta’s technology, following successful applications in Liberia, Cameroon and Indonesia.

Indonesia was the first nation involved in the FLEGT process of VPAs to start deployment of a technology-based timber legality assurance system.