WWF, the world’s leading conservation body, have just launched a study which has found that companies in the UK are selling items such as kitchen worktops, doors and decking that come from places where illegal logging is having a devastating effect on people and wildlife.
They have produced an animation to encourage consumers across the UK to think twice about whether or not what they’re buying is illegally sourced and the impact their choice could make. You can see it here:
Illegal logging costs some of the world’s poorest economies critical income which could otherwise be used to build public and social service infrastructure and enhance community welfare, as well as invest back into sustainable forest management, securing revenue in the long term.
The study found that in some cases UK companies had little idea where their wood products originated from and were reluctant to find out. It gives guidance to businesses on sourcing Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified timber products. FSC means it’s been sourced from well-managed forests according to high environmental and social standards. This means consumers can make sure they’re buying responsibly.
Colin Butfield, WWF’s head of campaigns, said: “This study should act as a wake up call to companies here in the UK and highlight to the consumer that they are the ones with the power to demand that whatever they’re buying, from doors to kitchen worktops, is FSC (Forest Stewardship Council). If it doesn’t have the FSC logo then it could originate from a place where there have been devastating impacts on species such as the orang-utan and communities that earn a living from the forest.”
In the UK, it’s been estimated that we’re importing around 1.5 million cubic metres of illegal timber and wood products a year. Illegal logging is contributing to the decline of species such as the endangered orang-utan and the destruction of forests is responsible for about 20% of global greenhouse gas emissions.
For more information about the study please visit http://www.wwf.org.uk/what_we_do/campaigning/what_wood_you_choose/