Many of you will have read that deforestation of the Amazon rain forest has surged to a 12-year high. According to the BBC, a total of 11,088 sq km (4,281 sq miles) of rainforest were destroyed from August 2019 to July 2020. This is a 9.5% increase from the previous year.
- Why is the Amazon rainforest important for us all?
- What is the effect of deforestation?
- What happens to the felled timber?
- How can I ensure the timber used in my project is not the produce of illegal deforestation?
- What more can I do to help?
Why is the Amazon rainforest important for us all?
The Amazon rainforest plays an important part in regulating the world’s oxygen and carbon cycles. It produces roughly six percent of the world’s oxygen and has long been thought to act as a carbon sink, meaning it readily absorbs large amounts of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
What is the effect of deforestation?
The rainforests are being destroyed to create more land for farming, primarily beef cattle. Trees have hidden attributes that play a key role in reducing pollutant levels. Under natural conditions, trees remove CO2 from the atmosphere and absorb it for photosynthesis, an energy-creating process that yields oxygen, which is released back into the air.
What happens to the felled timber?
Most deforestation is through fires that are deliberately set and allowed to burn. In some cases, hardwood trees that have value are felled and sold to timber merchants. Although the timber from these trees are not allowed to be sold, some undoubtedly do reach the market and are bought by unscrupulous users.
How can I ensure the timber used in my project is not the produce of illegal deforestation?
At DJ Newman, we only use wood that is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), an international non-profit organization established in 1993. FSC is the only forest certification system that is supported by major international, national and local aboriginal, environmental and social groups. Also, it is the only forest certification system supported by credible environmental and social organizations, including the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and Greenpeace. The FSC certification is the only legitimate forest certification in the world.
What more can I do to help?
You should insist that any timber or wooden products that you buy come from sources certified by the FSC. We are very happy to verify that all our timber is certified: feel free to contact us for further details.
The Amazon is home to about three million species of plants and animals, and one million indigenous people – and it has been described as the “Lungs of the World”. Write to your MP to demand that the government takes action to persuade the Brazilian government stop deforestation.
Want to know more about deforestation?
For a very interesting article on this issue by Rachel Brown, someone who is passionate on this subject, click here.
Forest Stewardship Council
FSC is an international, non-governmental organisation dedicated to promoting responsible management of the world’s forests.