Preserving our forests through trade
It is estimated that between 1990 and 2016, the world lost 1.3 million square kilometers of forests (according to the World Bank), with forests covering around 30% of the world’s land area. The World Resource Institute estimates that if tropical deforestation was a country, it would rank third in CO2 equivalent emissions, behind China and the US.
The single biggest cause of deforestation worldwide is agriculture, which is the number one driver of deforestation of the world’s tropical forests is beef, followed by soybean production, according to the World Wildlife Federation. This harms more than one billion people, who are dependent on forests for their livelihoods, as well as millions of species of animals.
Deforestation must be stopped. For the timber industry, this means ensuring that illegal timber does not enter the market through responsible sourcing, and helping countries around the world improve their forestry practices. The Timber Trade Federation leads in responsible sourcing, with our members subject to mandatory auditing.
When sustainable timber is supported, forests grow rather than shrink. Europe’s forests are a growing resource, which despite producing around 470 million cubic meters of round wood every year and providing millions of people with meaningful employment, they now cover a 9% greater area than they did 25 years ago.
The Timber Trade Federation works globally to reduce deforestation and encourage more sustainable forestry practices, including encouraging the adoption of mandatory reporting guidelines and due diligence, mandatory sustainable sourcing requirements across the EU, and working to enhance transparency and traceability.