Illegal logging drives deforestation in many countries, robbing national governments and local communities of valuable income and contributing to global biodiversity loss and climate change. Experts estimate that up to 10 percent—or about $7 billion—of the global wood supply is sourced illegally—meaning that the wood was harvested in violation of national laws or international agreements to which a country is party to.
On November 4, 26 members of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) Forest Solutions Group released a leadership statement, committing to significantly scale up sustainable forest management. These 26 members are responsible for nearly 40% of annual global forest, paper, and packaging sales. To read the full story on WBCSD's website, click here.
U.S. federal authorities recently executed search warrants at two Virginia facilities belonging to Lumber Liquidators Holdings, Inc., the largest specialty retailer of hardwood flooring in the United States. Lumber Liquidators said in a press release last month that the raids were related “to the importation of certain of the Company’s wood flooring products,” but did not explain further.
Brazil is one of the most biologically diverse countries in the world. What is less known is that the country is the fourth largest industrial roundwood (timber left as logs, not sawn into planks) and wood pulp producer and ninth largest paper producer in the world.
As the old adage suggests, it is important to see the forests for more than just the trees. While an estimated 500 million people depend directly on forests for their livelihoods, the entire world depends on them for food, water, clean air, and vital medicines. Forests also absorb carbon dioxide, making them critical to curbing climate change.
Forests are vitally important for the global environment, economy, and population. The forest sector employs 13.7 million workers and contributes to about 1 percent of the global GDP. Plus, an estimated 500 million people around the world directly depend on forests for their livelihoods.
Disney, one of the world’s largest media companies, made a big announcement today that can help the company move in a more sustainable direction when it comes to paper sourcing and use. This is a positive step toward environmental leadership by a company whose name is familiar to people around the globe.
On August 6, the U.S. Department of Justice announced that it reached a criminal enforcement agreement with Gibson Guitar Corp., resolving two investigations into allegations that Gibson violated the Lacey Act by purchasing and importing illegally harvested wood materials into the United States from Madagascar and India.
How has the Lacey Act influenced the way you do business? A conversation with Bob Taylor of Taylor Guitars
First off, Taylor Guitars supports Lacey and its intent. Of course, who doesn’t say they support Lacey? People announce their support whether they practice their statement or not. But, let’s say, just for argument’s sake, that none of us guitar makers were environmentalists, or cared about the world’s tropical forests.
Long a problem in many of the world’s forests, illegal logging has unsustainable impacts. It deprives governments of tax revenue. It puts law-abiding companies at a competitive disadvantage. And it negatively impacts forest-dependent peoples, not to mention the world’s biodiversity and climate.