Corruption Index: Lithuania and Costa Rica unspecified risk for Controlled Wood
With new figures for the Corruption Perception Index (CPI), released by Transparency International on 1 December 2011, Lithuania and Costa Rica have become “unspecified risk” for legality under the Controlled Wood requirements.
On 1 December 2011, Transparency International released the results of the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) 2011. The index scores 183 countries and territories from 0 (highly corrupt) to 10 (very clean) based on perceived levels of public sector corruption. It uses data from 17 surveys that look at factors such as enforcement of anti-corruption laws, access to information and conflicts of interest.
In the new CPI, New Zealand ranks first, followed by Denmark and Finland. Somalia and North Korea (included in the index for the first time) rank lowest.
In Costa Rica, Lithuania and Oman, CPI has fallen below 5. According to the FSC Controlled Wood policy, these countries are now to be considered “unspecified risk” for legal timber. A country can be considered as low risk only if the CPI for the given country is equal to or above 5. This change in CPI is very important for companies who purchase controlled timber from Lithuania or Costa Rica, since field verification of legal harvesting is required for sourcing controlled wood from countries with a CPI below 5. Oman is not considered to be an important country in terms of forestry.
The following EU countries now have a CPI below 5: Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, and Slovakia. “These figures show that there is risk of illegal harvesting in several locations within the EU, which is also important to note in relation to the fast approaching EU Timber Regulation that aim to block the entrance of illegal timber into the EU marketplace”, says Chain of Custody certification expert at NEPCon Roman Polyachenko. “Greece and Italy show some of the highest corruption levels in Europe. Some of the EU countries that have previously moved from below to above the CPI threshold of 5 are still doing well, such as Poland and Slovenia. In others, a negative development is seen. For example, Latvia, Lithuania and Slovakia have all had CPIs of above 5 in recent years – but none of them have managed to raise the bar back to this level again this year”.
Slovakia has fallen as low as 4, while Lithuania remains close to 5 with 4.8. The CPI in Rwanda and Bahrain has risen over 5 but none of these countries are forest-rich.
For further information check the report at Transparency International’s website: http://cpi.transparency.org/cpi2011/results/ .
For longer coverage on the CPI and related threats see full article in NEPCon Certified Wood Update.
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