Bioversity International: research for development in agricultural and tree biodiversity

Laura Snook talks about the future of mahogany on BBC Radio 4’s Shared Planet

15 Oct 2014

Recently interviewed for BBC Radio 4’s Shared Planet programme, Laura Snook, Head of Bioversity International’s Forest Genetic Resources programme, talks about conserving the beautiful, durable and internationally prized mahogany tree.

As described by BBC Radio 4, “reaching the impressive height of 60 metres or more [mahogany trees] … are true giants of the forest. Selective logging of mahogany was unchecked across much of its range until international agreements restricted its trade.”

In the interview, Laura Snook highlights the Global Timber Tracking Network (GTTN) that brings together relevant players to fight illegal timber logging and trade by facilitating and promoting the integrated use of DNA and stable isotope markers with the existing species identification and timber tracking technologies. Ever since its inception in 2012, GTTN has been working on a global online database that will make species identification for traded timber easier and provide tangible proof of the declared origin of wood and wood products. Currently, GTTN is calling for new members to join working groups and provide technical knowledge, sound advice and support.

Download this podcast in which BBC Radio 4’s Monty Don finds out more about mahogany and whether we can continue to use its beautiful wood without forfeiting its future.


Photo: African mahogany (Khaya senegalensis) at the centre of a village in Benin. Credit: Bioversity International/B.Vinceti