There are some common misconceptions out there about tropical decking materials. Portland, Oregon residents, generally being politically aware, are especially likely to express concern about buying hardwoods sourced from tropical rain forests. Below, we’d like to address the underappreciated aspects of tropical deforestation. We hope to show you how a continued international trade in tropical wood products can actually help protect the world’s rainforests.
The first thing to keep in mind is that tropical hardwoods are usually found in developing countries where people are still struggling to survive. In these areas, wood is primarily used for cooking and heating. Indeed, a 1992 report from the London Environmental Economics Centre found that just 17 percent of tropical non-coniferous timber goes to industrial uses. The vast majority (83 percent) of tropical roundwood is used for fuel and other non-industrial purposes.
Furthermore, deforestation most commonly occurs as rainforests are converted into areas for farming or ranching. Landowners are tempted to clear land for these activities, as they represent the possibility to earn ongoing income. For instance, in the Brazilian rainforests where Tigerwood is sourced, cattle ranching and soybean farming represent a much larger threat to forests than does industrial use. In other words, your food choices could harm forests more than your decking materials, Portland, Oregon residents.
Finally, American companies such as Tigerwood that import hardwoods must follow international standards on sustainability, including guidelines from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United States. Each country also has its own rules for forest management. Getting back to our earlier example, IBAMA is the Brazilian department that oversees forestry.
To stay in business, American companies must follow relevant environmental law. As an example, let’s imagine a shipment of Ipe decking materials – Portland families are happy to receive these extremely hardy building materials, and they can enjoy them guilt-free knowing that they were imported according to all applicable laws.
Ultimately, American manufacturers actually promote an interest in forest management by adding value to local lands. If it’s clear that tropical wood can earn a good price, local landowners are more likely to preserve forested lands rather than tear them down for agricultural purposes. Keep this reality in mind when you’re shopping for decking materials, Portland homeowners.
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