Forests around the world are under increasing pressure to satisfy the needs of people. Forests are home to many plant and animal species, including humans. They perform the important function of converting carbon dioxide to oxygen. Trees are also the source of the most abundant, environmentally – friendly and a useful material known to man as WOOD. It is the most widely – used fuel for cooking and heating, and it is the basic material for shelter.
Tropical forest are under particular pressure as they are located in developing countries where many people are struggling on a daily basis merely to survive. You may have heard some claims about the threats facing the rainforests and about people who’s responsible. Let’s look at the truth, you may be surprised!
Some Facts About Tropical Deforestation
Although the wood and wood products industry is a very small part of the problem, it can be a large part of the solution.
A significant proportion of the billions of dollars this international market represents make its way back to the forests and provides resources to address the real problems facing the forests; poverty & population pressures.
Percent of Export
Value of Forest Products Exports
Sources: AFaPA facts a figures U.S. Forest – 1995: Sustainable forest management in Indonesia, 1993/94; Tropical Forestry Action Plan, 1993; FAD yearbook 1991; Camara National Forestal Directory 1994
Good markets for wood & wood products will help save the forest. A thriving international market provides an economic reason to carefully manage them. Bans & boycotts of tropical timber products are counterproductive to the purported goal of saving the rain forest in that they reduce the value of the forested land. If we stop buying these products, we would remove the incentive to manage the forests and we would actually encourage their conversion to other uses, which is what we need to avoid. The land with trees MUST be more valuable than the land without them.
Save the Rainforests! Buy Tropical Wood Products from Responsible Suppliers!!!
(1) Study by the institute for Weltwirtschaft (TFW) Kiel for Greenpeace E. V. Hamburg 1992.
(2) Economic Linkages between the International Trade in Tropical Timber and the Sustainable Management of Tropical Forest – London Environmental economics centre – 1992.
(3) ITTO – 1994 Report