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tim

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Did anyone else see the report about SE Asian timber stocks last night on the 10pm BBC News?

Pretty shocking would be an understatement.

Basically, because of China's massive expansion plans, it is sourcing timber by whatever means possible. Consequently there is staggering amounts of illegal logging occurring in Indonesia with corruption going right to the top.

Net result the stats are absolutely horrifying.

Aside from the difficult to comprehend (and therefore IMHO meaningless) figure showing that the amount of forest cleared in Indonesia each year is the size of switzerland, the chinese logging consumption equates to one stolen log being processed every minute. These are logs that are 6-8ft diameter c 100 years old.

If that wasn't bad enough - what that extrapolates to is that at this rate, there will be no forest left in Indonesia within 5 years. Not 50 or 500 or next century but 5 years. :cry:

We are screwing it up people and I don't know what we/ I can do about it. :cry:


Tim

Too depressed to carry on typing
 

Adam

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Hmm, what can we do? Well, I personally, think Ikea (and others) are to blame. We now expect to purchase furniture and many other items at a price which means the cost of materials is practically zero.

This is only possible by purchasing items from countries whose regulations on pollution, health and safety and sourcing materials from renewable sources are non existent.

First suggestion.

Make a personal decision not to buy furniture you do not know the origin of the wood. I can't remember who, but someone like B&Q recently had to withdraw a range of outdoor furniture when it became clear its origins were dubious.

Second Suggestion.

All my timber comes from a local cabinet maker, who in turn converts locally felled timber himself. The total "transport" time of such materials is probably no more than 25 miles. Buy some "American" oak - and it's transport time will be significant if you add the trucking, and boat journeys together. So - how about trying to source (or even process) your own timber. Find a locally tree surgeon and maek an arrangment to purchase whole logs as, and when, he finds them - maybe even provide some help to get him to recognise a good "straight" tree. Find a local sawmill, get them to process it, and find a local farm if space is pushed on which to air dry. Such timber will be cheap in terms of purchase cost, although dear in terms of time. Customers will likely prefer it.

Third Suggestion.

Make yourself known in the area such that if someones "pet" tree falls down inthe garden, you will fetch it, process it, and charge them to make a piece of furniture in a year or two.

Fourth Suggestion.

Work with UK hardwoods where possible. That way, you are encouraging the management and sustainability of forest in the UK. Further information can be obtained here:

http://www.woodnet.org.uk/woodlots/edit ... c2opt3.htm

Unfortunately this covers only South East Timber - but its has some good articles, its free, allows people to palce adverts, has lots of info about equipment etc for sale, local makers, forests for sale, wood for sale,



Fifth Suggestion.

Try and educate your customers on how and why you source your timber, locally, and maybe even a "give-away" fact sheet on how large companies are raping the forests to provide cheap and plentiful wood. Sort of carrot and stick approach.

Hows that for a start? I'm sure many others will have some suggestions.

Adam*

*Trying to be positive rather than negative, as regulations never really stop illegal trading taking place.
 

Chris Knight

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I hate to sound totally downbeat but this battle was lost ages ago. I have lived and worked in forested areas for many a year and have personally known the loggers and politicians who control things. I have seen how laws are passed to appease the West and how they are not enforced at all on the ground. I have seen what corruption and violence does to the few who try to slow logging down. Logging will not stop before it is too late to care and nothing we say or do here will change it.

I suggest you use what wood you like, the quantites we are talking about (or even all the hobby woodworkers and small businesses in the world added together) don't amount to a row of beans and if we used say chipboard it will not influence the big consumers of timber one iota.

The landscape below is today scarred with roads and landslips that have ruined this view I enjoyed 14 years ago. They say a rainforest is a desert covered by trees and it is absolutely true, the soil is in fact very poor and when the trees go only a miserable sort of terrain is left.

 

tim

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I agree with both of you - at the level we are talking about me and every other small maker changing, its the equivalent of trying to empty a swimming pool with an eyedropper while someone else is filling it with a firehose.

While money and power are at the heart of it, there is little that can be done. :( I know for example that when I was building my workshop last year I was thinking about lining the inside with OSB and then painting it because I don't like plasterboard and lets face it, it used to be cheap - £4 or £5 sheet. Rang up the yard - 1 can't get hold of it at the mo and 2. now £12+ per sheet. Why - all stocks are being used to rebuild Iraq and builld China!

I'm going for a walk

T
 
A

Anonymous

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What can *we* do about it? Not a lot. You can help by:

Buying only FSC certified stock
Checking up with greenpeace/friends of the earth for endangered species of timber, and avoid buying them

There's another site to look for endangered species, but I don't recall it offhand.

But, at the end of the day, what we use is small-beer compared to what's used in industry around the world - we can only contribute by being careful about what we do and don't buy.
 

Midnight

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I heard recently that the chinese are buying whole US forrests of maple, oak and western cedar.. loggers never had it so good..

FWIW.. the forementioned reasons are why I've been working with locally grown hardwoods whenever possible; the way things are going that's gonna be the only lumber available in a few years time...
 
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