Do you know where your wood comes from?

Your garden fence may come from illegally harvested trees in Russia
Timber fencing is often made of larch, a rare species in the European part of Russia and often protected.

Illegal and uncontrolled cutting of larch is a major issue all over Russia. Overall illegal logging rates have reached 27% in the north-west of Russia and 50% in the Russian Far East.

Russia loses approximately US$1 billion per year to illegal logging and trade, which in turn restricts money available for good harvesting practices, communities and development.

Bad practices put wildlife in Russia's boreal forests - such as the Siberian tiger and the Far Eastern leopard - at high risk.
Garden fence / ©: iStockphoto/David Appleyard
Garden fence
© iStockphoto/David Appleyard
Your spruce or pine boards may have caused major social and economic damage to communities in Eastern Europe
Illegal logging is a major issue in many Eastern European countries - key sources of spruce and pine in European markets.

35% percent of wood-based products imported into the EU come from these countries. Uncontrolled and illegal harvesting damages nature and local communities. Often locals do not even profit from the sale of timber because a few illegal actors reap the rewards while destroying nature, resources, and the reputation of industry.
Your parquet flooring may have destroyed key habitats for orang-utans and jaguars.
Merbau from Indonesia, jatoba from the Amazon and doussie from tropical Africa are popular timbers for parquet flooring.

The dramatic decline of orang-utan populations in South-East Asia, jaguar populations in Latin America and African forest elephants is in part due to rampant logging for these timbers, leading to destruction of their habitat.
Your sauna seats may once have shaded African elephants.
Abachi, used in many saunas, comes from West and Central Africa - where illegal harvesting has reached dramatic levels.

This region is also home to key habitat for forest elephants. At the beginning of the 20th century there were still 3-5 million elephants in Africa, but today the number of forest elephants has greatly diminished. A key threat for these elephants is habitat loss and deforestation.

» More on illegal logging in Africa
Your ramin picture and window frames very likely supported illegal business practices in Indonesia and Malaysia.
Ramin is a vulnerable species according to the IUCN red list and has special protection under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.

However, through smuggling and other illegal practices ramin still finds its way into your living room.
Your garden furniture may have contributed to the destruction of the world's most valuable rainforests.
Valuable rainforest species are used in garden furniture because of their durability.

FSC-certified garden furniture is the best alternative for consumers who want to avoid contributing to forest destruction.
What can I do?
Ask for FSC certified timber which is your best assurance that wood comes from forests managed to the highest environmental and social standards.

A visual guide is available on this site to help you identify tropical timber in the shops. If a product manufactured from tropical wood does not carry an FSC label it is very likely that it has accelerated rainforest loss.

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