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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Glossary

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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A huge tree being pulled by a skidder in a tropical rainforest in Central Africa © Global Witness

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Congo rainforest to be felled despite international climate funding? Help us stop it!

The government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo is considering lifting a long-standing ban on the expansion of industrial logging in its rainforests. Tens of millions of hectares of virgin forest could be handed over to the loggers, destroying the ecosystem and local peoples’ livelihoods while fueling climate change.

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To: the European Commission and the Ministers of the Development, Environment and Foreign Affairs of the Governments of France, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, South Korea and the UK

“Stop the imminent threat to the Congo Basin rainforest from the lifting of the DRC moratorium on new logging concessions”

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