Anti-deforestation firm hires Open Road

Open Road is to provide global public affairs support to a firm that uses modern technology to combat illegal deforestation and drive down carbon emissions across the world.

As the European Union and the US push ahead with legislation to ban the importation of illegally harvested timber, Open Road will advise Helveta on its worldwide lobbying strategy.

The UK-based company provides technology such as barcodes and handheld applications that allow governments to establish the legality of timber products.

Helveta and partner agencies already monitor forest management activities in nations across the Congo and Amazon basins and in South East Asia. Now the company wants to have greater influence in London, Brussels and Washington.

Corporate and public affairs specialist Open Road will advise on its response to the EU's recently announced Draft Framework Regulation on illegal logging that would make it an offence throughout the EU to import illegally logged timber.

The agency will also advise on engaging policymakers in the US on the implementation of the recently amended Lacey Act, which has made it an offence to import illegally felled timber into the US.

Open Road was hired following a competitive pitch.

Open Road CEO Graham McMillan said: 'Helveta can play a major role in helping governments around the world introduce systems to stop illegal logging, to reduce carbon emissions from deforestation and to enable legal and sustainable trade that can be vital to development.'

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