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.
Learn more from our FAQs and the following links:
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.
Related donation alerts
Sumatra: Creating a conservation area in the elephant forest
The villagers of Sepintun have been fighting for their rainforest for more than a year now. A state- owned timber company received a logging concession. The residents want to have their forest – which is also the habitat of wild elephants – declared a conservation area. The district chief recently approved this plan. Now, they need our support.
Philippines: mangrove reforestation
On the Philippine island of Samal in Davao Gulf, fishermen and students are planting thousands of mangrove seedlings financed by our donations. Mangrove forests are highly diverse coastal ecosystems that that play a crucial role as a nursery for marine life, thus ensuring bountiful fishing in the future.
Mar 4, 2010
Rainforest Rescue undermines efforts in favor of FSC-certified industrial logging in primary forestsOpen letter by BUND, Nabu, Oro Verde & WWF
Aug 15, 2012
Malagasy wood for guitars: Gibson finedPartial success in the Gibson scandal: Gibson Guitars have agreed to pay a fine of $300,000 as well as another $50,000 to environmental organisations. The ebony which had been seized by government authorities will remain confiscated.
Dec 15, 2012
China: the New Hotbed of Illegal Timber TradeOver the past ten years, China has become the world’s number-one trader of illegally logged timber, according to a study published by the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) in late 2012. At the same time, major timber consumers such as the United States, the European Union and Australia have taken timber from illegal sources off the market.
May 20, 2009
Indonesian Orangutan Habitat Wiped Out for Airport and BrothelsAgence France-Presse reports that part of a national park on Borneo island, home to hundreds of endangered orangutans, has been turned into a development zone complete with an airport and brothel. Some 600 orangutan have disappeared from Kutai National Park, East Kalimantan province, over the past seven years due to unchecked construction. It really makes you wonder – just how callous can humanity be towards sister species, and if this is going on with government complicity, just how willing is Indonesia's government to limit deforestation? Or is REDD carbon finance proposal just about the carbon money?
Nov 21, 2013
The world steps up to protect koalasWe asked for your help in protecting koalas in a call to action on our website. The response was loud and clear: more than 83,000 people from all over the world signed our petition to save the Australian marsupials.