For its 2008 Amendments to the Lacey Act, the United States on September 21, 2011 was recognized as a winner of the World Future Council’s 2011 Future Policy Award in New York City. The Lacey Act is a 100-year-old law amended to curb international trade in illegally harvested timber products.
Daniel Reifsnyder, Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Environment and Sustainable Development at the U.S. Department of State, accepted the award on behalf of U.S. Government at a ceremony held in New York City’s Central Park Zoo. The Republic of Rwanda and the Republic of The Gambia also received awards for their forest management policies.
The ceremony was hosted by the World Future Council, the United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF) Secretariat, the Secretariat of the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), and the Wildlife Conservation Society.
The Future Policy Award is granted by the World Future Council, an international policy research organization that promotes effective policy solutions. Recognizing that the United Nations has declared 2011 as the International Year of Forests, the jury sought to shine a spotlight on the many challenges facing forest resources and the people that depend on them.
Illegal logging and the international trade in illegal timber have been recognized as a major global problem causing environmental damage, costing producer countries billions of dollars in lost revenue, promoting corruption, undermining the rule of law and good governance, and contributing to the funding of armed conflict.