Tropical timber

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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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Logger with chainsaw and rosewood logs in Nigeria Rosewood logs in Nigeria (© RdR/Mathias Rittgerott)

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Stamp out the illegal rosewood trade!

10,000 shipping containers of illegal rosewood worth $300 million have made their way to China from Nigeria. The trade was “facilitated” by $1 million in bribes to Nigerian officials and politicians and intervention by the present UN Deputy Secretary-General. International agreements to control the rosewood trade lack teeth.

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To: the UN Member States, the CITES Signatory States and the CITES Secretariat

The UN Deputy Secretary-General has been implicated in the illegal sale of rosewood. The UN must prosecute the criminals behind timber trafficking.

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