Tropical timber

Timber from domestic forests is a natural and renewable resource which is both modern and environmentally friendly. But is that also true of tropical timber from rainforests?

Tropical timber is a popular material that is still quite common in our home-improvement stores. Its use entails many problems and disadvantages, however. Numerous studies have shown that most of it – in some source countries up to 90 percent – was felled illegally, destroying ecosystems forever. Furthermore, trade in illegal timber still has not been banned in the EU.

Every year, 13 million hectares of rainforest disappear worldwide. These figures show that not buying tropical timber at all is still the most effective way to counter the trade in illegally logged timber. Timber grown locally is a sound alternative.

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FSC: The seal of the Forest Stewardship Council, which purports to certify sustainable forestry. In the past, however, the FSC has often certified dubious projects or wood from demonstrably illegal logging operations. We therefore advise consumers to avoid tropical timber altogether.

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Balsa wood in a wind turbine rotor blade The inside of an 81-meter rotor blade is being lined with balsa at a Siemens Gamesa plant in Denmark (© Carsten Snejbjerg)

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Don’t plunder the rainforest for wind energy!

There is no doubt that we need to move to renewable energy as soon as possible – and above all, to dramatically reduce our energy and resource consumption. Wind turbines are a key part of that transition, but their rotors often contain large quantities of tropical balsa wood. Rainforests in Ecuador are being plundered for balsa.

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To: Siemens Gamesa, General Electric, LM Wind Power, Vestas, Nordex, Enercon

“The wind power industry must ensure transparency in its balsa wood supply chain and not use balsa from rainforest logging.”

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