According to an article on Reuters, the company has put already barcodes (yes, just like the ones you have in supermarkets, only in plastic bags) on about million trees across Africa, southeast Asia and South America.
Patrick Newton, Helveta's chief executive officer told Reuters that the computerized system is less prone to fraud than traditional paper records, carries live data and can help governments to collect more timber taxes, Newton said.How does it work exactly? watch this piece on BBC Oxford News for the details:
In all the barcodes can't prevent criminals from chopping down trees, but the system's promise is to make it hard for them to process, sell or export the wood.
Can this system stop illegal logging? On one side, this "industry" is too lucrative to be stopped only by one measure. Usually innovative solutions against theft generates more innovations on the other side and creates more sophisticated thieves. BUT on the other side, not only this is a much better and secure system than the current paper-based system, it will also make illegal logging more expensive and difficult.
Hence my guestimation is it will become a powerful tool that can decrease illegal logging, and even more it will bring more technology and further innovation into the fight in illegal logging, which will be crucial in winning this fight.
What do you think? I'll be happy to hear your thoughts about it.
Raz @ Eco-Libris
Eco-Libris: promoting green publishing