Trees are the only renewable building material and are important for carbon sequestration and measures to combat climate change.
By choosing to specify and use sustainable, responsibly sourced timber, businesses are helping to preserve and grow the world’s forests and combat climate change. There are incredible success stories of the preservation of managed forests, supporting biodiversity and preventing deforestation. One of the most significant is the preservation of gorillas in the Congo by the actions of Interholco – connected to TTF member Danzer.
Resource extraction is the process of withdrawing materials from the natural environment, accounting for around half of the world’s carbon emissions and 80% of biodiversity loss (UN). Today, resources are being extracted three times faster than in 1970, with the population only having doubled during that time (Global Resources Outlook). Growing by 3.2% per year, the world consumes more than 92b tonnes of materials. Resource extraction and trading accounts for the vast majority of global economic growth, however since environmental conscious has grown since the 2000’s begun, resources have become more expensive to extract due to diminishing rates of return and environmental implications have become harder to ignore.
It is essential to decouple economic growth from material consumption and resource extraction. Without change, resource demand will more than double to 190 billion tonnes a year, greenhouse gas emissions can be predicted to rise by 40% and demand for land by 20% (Global Resources Outlook).
The original design submitted proposed the column with 195 horizontal holes drilled through the heart, to represent the demands on natural resource of timber by the 195 countries of the world. * However, fabricating this project has led to slight editions and therefore 195 holes will no longer be drilled as this would hinder the structural integrity too greatly.
Without proper governance and sustainable forest management in place, there will inevitably be overexploitation of resources. Maintaining balance between harvesting and regrowth is essential in all forests. The reforms outlined in each country’s FLEGT Voluntary Partnership Agreement commit them to a legal, enforceable management framework. Without these laws in place and wider sustainable forest management from all commodity supply chains, forests will continue to face many threats to their existence.
Through Conversations about Climate Change, the TTF FLEGT project team are drawing light to species from countries engaging with the EU FLEGT Action Plan against illegal logging and deforestation, creating a greater awareness of sustainable forest management, the role of specifiers and material provenance and hope to encourage a greater integration of FLEGT within procurement policies.
It is essential for the future of our planets health that we balance the demand for materials, food and commodities with the need to keep these incredible habitats standing. This exhibition was formulated to convey the message that timber harvesting from sustainable forest management sources, will actually keep the forests standing – providing governance and legal reforms are in place. More information of the TTF’s FLEGT project and relevant articles can be found here.