Source Certain, in collaboration with World Forest ID (WFID), conducted a pilot program in late 2021 to determine how Trace Elements and Stable Isotopes could be applied as complementary techniques to further support other global WFID projects. Kolombangara, Solomon Islands was selected as the location for the pilot project/demonstration across Teak from this region.
Kolombangara is an island in the New Georgia Islands group in the nation-state of Solomon Islands. The circular island is a composite volcano measuring approximately 30km across and comprised of strata layers of hardened felsic lava. A sampling regime for the island’s timber forests was devised by the Source Certain technical team.
Authentic georeferenced samples of timber from Kolombangara were collected by Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and supplied to Source Certain with a request to evaluate whether Source Certain proprietary TSW Trace technology could be used to assess what differences are present in the elemental composition of the timber and to establish discrete geographical origin determination of the timber samples.
Differences observed across the island could enable granular provenance identification of timber material. Particular attention was paid to site differentiation by distance and by altitude.
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The results from this pilot program are promising with the data suggesting TSW Trace technology is fit for purpose for the analysis and specific provenance determination of timber. The technology could provide an ability to confirm a more specific regional origin for FSC timber from Kolombangara Island. Moreover, is also appears possible to this provenance determination to not only a region of an island, but to a particular altitude bracket. Further samples would be needed across other islands within the archipelago to determine if the underlying geology gives rise to generic Solomon Islands ‘fingerprint’.