20-22 May, 2019 IAWA-IUFRO International Symposium Challenges and Opportunities for Updating Wood Identification 23 May, 2019 GTTN-IAWA Application

Important Note

May 23, 2019, GTTN (Global Timber Tracking Network) plans to organize a Workshop of GTTN-IAWA Application on timber tracking network at the same venue as the IAWA-IUFRO Symposium.


Deforestation represents a massive threat to global biodiversity, with unsustainable and illegal logging, and trade in illegally harvested forest products contributing significantly to continual forest loss. These behaviors are driving the need for wood species identification and origin tracing for forensics. Traditional wood identification relies on diagnostic anatomical features, either macroscopic or microscopic but rarely can provide a precise discrimination of wood at the species level and origin resolution.

To overcome such limitations, recent advances in artificial intelligence, biotechnology and chemical analysis, e.g. image analysis, genetic methods, phytochemistry, near infrared spectroscopy, mass spectrometry and isotopic analysis, for wood have the capacity to improve upon traditional methods of species identification and origin tracking. The application of the new channels to identify the species and track the geographic origin of internationally traded timber has attracted increasing interest as a potential part of global systems to support sustainable forestry and especially to promote legal timber harvest. Despite the desirability of using these newly developed technologies broadly in wood forensics, the complexity of extracting features from wood and the lack of reliable reference libraries are the main barriers to their application for the next few years. There is still a long way to go to make these advanced methods widely available for forensics and industries, and many technical challenges remain to be solved by the global collaboration of scientists from different research fields.

The main objectives of the symposium are to provide an international forum for experts to exchange the latest related research advances and experiences, as well as to further discuss current focus problems, challenges and opportunities for newly developed wood identification technology.


  • Scientific Understanding to Wood Identification
  • Recent Advances in Various Wood Identification Methods
  • Integrated Application of Wood Identification Techniques
  • Timber Tracking & Databases Establishment
  • Forestry Affirmation & Forest Products Verification