Sustainable timber enriches the environment
Using verified sustainable tropical timber from sustainably managed forests has numerous, often interrelated benefits. These are also increasingly objectively proven and documented and below we give an overview of leading reports providing evidence of those positive impacts.
- With trees’ capacity to absorb CO2 as it grows and store it long-term as timber, the forest is also key to regulating climate change and moderating the potential impact of man-made emissions. Timber can also readily substitute alternative materials based on finite resources and with much bigger carbon footprints, such as steel or plastic. Deforestation is also a prime greenhouse gas generator. Tropical deforestation accounts for about 10 percent of the world’s heat-trapping emissions. Selective logging as part of SFM, however, keeps 76% of carbon stocks in the forest and protects 85-100% of wildlife.
- Forests are also among the most varied and richest of habitats for both flora and fauna, providing a seedbed for global biodiversity. Many of the environmental services they perform are yet to be explored and analysed and their significance properly understood. It is increasingly accepted that, where sustainably managed, they offer huge, as yet untapped, potential.
- If sustainably sourced, timber is arguably one of the most renewable and environmentally beneficial manufacturing and construction materials we have. It scores highly in Life Cycle Analysis (LCA), the increasingly widely applied study of a materials’ cradle to grave carbon and broader environmental impacts. This examines every aspect of the market journey, from sourcing, through transport, processing and manufacture, to maintenance, recycling, repair and final disposal. Click here for the summary or complete report (Dutch only) of an LCA comparing performance of sustainably sourced tropical timber against other materials in the construction of cycle bridges, or here for the summary and infographic from an LCA study looking at tropical timber’s use in sheet piling.
- On average, 1m³ of wood absorbs 1 tonne of CO2, and when used instead of 1m3 of steel, concrete or plastic, an average of 0.9 tonnes of CO2 is saved. Click here for a report ‘Tackle climate change, use wood’ in English, or here for versions in Dutch, Danish, Spanish, French and Spanish.
Planet, people and profit – the beneficiaries of sustainable forest management
The more the outcomes of SFM are studied and understood, the greater and more varied the benefits are seen to be. Nowhere more so than in tropical forestry. The profits from SFM are environmental, social and commercial. A good source of reports proving the impacts is conservationeffectiveness.org. Below you find an overview the most important reports.
Reports on the impact of SFM
|Communication||The VIA initiative (2018), communicating the impact of sustainability standards.||www.isealalliance.org|
|People, planet, profit||Sustainability Impacts Learning Platform: an interactive map linking to national studies.||sustainabilityimpactslearningplatform.org|
|People, planet, profit||Burivalova et al (2016). A comparison of conventional, certified and community management of tropical forests.||onlinelibrary.wiley.com|
|People, planet, profit||Putz et al (2012). On sustaining conservation values in selectively logged tropical forests; ‘the attained and attainable’.||www.cifor.org|
|People, planet, profit||Cubbage et al (2010). Impacts of forest management certification in Argentina and Chile||www.sciencedirect.com|
|People, planet, profit||FSC impact dashboard||FSC impact dashboard|
|People, planet||Social and environmental impacts of forest management certification in Indonesia.||journals.plos.org|
|People, planet||FSC impact calculator.||impacttool.fsc.nl/|
|People||Cerutti et al (2017). Social impacts of Forest Stewardship Council certification in the Congo Basin.||www.cifor.org|
|People||Savilaakso et al (2017) Timber certification as catalyst for change in forest governance in Cameroon, Indonesia, and Peru.||www.cifor.org|
|People||Klonga & Kulindwa (2017). Does forest certification enhance livelihood conditions?||www.sciencedirect.com|
|People||The role for forest certification in improving relationships between logging companies and communities? Lessons from FSC in Cameroon||www.ingentaconnect.com (not open source)|
|People||Social and Miteva, Loucks and Pattanayah (2015). Environmental Impacts of Forest Management Certification in Indonesia||journals.plos.org|
|Planet||Wageningen UR (2018). Environmental impacts of Forest Certification.||www.wur.nl|
|Planet||Tropenbos (2009). Effects of forest certification on biodiversity.||www.tropenbos.org|
|Planet||WWF (2019). Managing forests, supporting wildlife: Can biodiversity thrive in responsibly logged tropical forests?||wwf.panda.org|
|Planet||Rana and Sills (2017). Does certification change the trajectory of tree cover in working forests in the tropics?||cenrep.ncsu.edu|
|Planet||Damette and Delacote (2011). Unsustainable timber harvesting, deforestation and the role of certification||www.sciencedirect.com|
|Planet||Lewis and Davis (2015). Forest certification, institutional capacity, and learning, an analysis of the impacts of the Malaysian Timber Certification Scheme.||www.sciencedirect.com|
|Planet, profit||Sasaki et al (2016). How sustainable management of tropical forests can reduce carbon emissions and stabilize timber production.||www.frontiersin.org|
|Planet, profit||Cerutti et al (2011). Legal vs. certified timber: Preliminary impacts of forest certification in Cameroon||www.sciencedirect.com|
|Profit||WWF (2015) Profitability and sustainability in responsible forestry: economic impacts of FSC certification on forest operators.||www.wwf.org.my|
|Profit||Boltza et al (2001). Financial returns under uncertainty for conventional and reduced-impact logging in permanent production forests of the Brazilian Amazon||www.sciencedirect.com|
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