Understanding sustainable tropical wood products through data

With COVID-19 crippling economies and trade across the globe, it has never been more important to halt illegal deforestation and fuel the growth of sustainable tropical timber. This is a fragile time for the world’s ecosystems, and ensuring that they can continue to thrive, support local communities, and provide sustainable economic benefits is paramount. We release our latest data report ‘Understanding sustainable secondary tropical wood products through data’ in the hopes of guiding all actors in the tropical wood value chain towards more sustainable production and trade.


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Understanding sustainable secondary tropical wood products through data

This report explores Europe’s impact on tropical forests as a result of secondary tropical wood imports (doors, moldings, other joinery, and windows). It builds on our 2019 report that analyzed the primary tropical wood sector, and reveals the way that these two aspects of the tropical timber trade impact tropical forests. Volumes of secondary tropical wood product imports (187,500 tonnes in 2019) are significantly less than primary tropical wood (1,473,000 tonnes in 2018), but the impacts are still meaningful.


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Positively impacting at least 763,000–925,000 hectares of tropical forests

The results show that secondary timber largely mirrors primary timber – in 2019, 33% of Europe’s direct imports of the analyzed secondary tropical wood products from ITTO producer countries were exposed to certification (compared to 28.5% of primary timber in 2018). This level of certification positively impacts at least 763,000–925,000 hectares of tropical forests.

Ramping up demand for SFM-certified products to 100% of imports would impact an additional 1,160,000–1,322,000 hectares of tropical forests. Combined with primary timber, shifting Europe’s demand to certified sustainable products could impact 18 million hectares.

CO2 emission reduction by 100 million metric tons

The new data shows that the current demand of Europe for certified tropical timber primary and secondary products reduces CO2 emissions per year by between 18.9 and 29.2 million metric tons. A EU27 and UK market using only sustainable tropical timber products might reduce emissions by almost 100 million metric tons. These staggering figures illustrate the necessity of a new way forward, and demand action by all actors in this sector to grow demand for tropical timber, explore novel applications, and support producing countries in shifting production practices.

Want to know more about how we can get to 100% SFM-certified and protect tropical forests in perpetuity?

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