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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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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Illegally logged rosewood in Madagascar Rosewood and ebony are being logged illegally in Africa (© CC BY-SA 3.0)

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The trees are bleeding: stop the loggers NOW!

Rosewood logs spattered with red sap – as if they were bleeding – are laid out by the roadside. “If a ban is not enforced immediately, there will be nothing left,” warns conservationist Hazel Chapman. The loggers are not even stopping for Gashaka Gumti National Park. Tell Nigeria’s environment minister to ban the export of rosewood.

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To: Amina J. Mohammed, Minister of Environment of Nigeria

Loggers are plundering Nigeria’s Taraba State for rosewood for the Chinese market. Please stop the export immediately.

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