One must demonstrate the legality and sustainability of tropical hardwood

According to Peter Latham, chairman of PEFC International, when he spoke at the Malaysian Timber Conference, “we are entering a new age for timber, a new industrial revolution for timber.”

“This isn’t just a climate-positive story of using a renewable crop, a crop that can still lock in the carbon when at the end of its use; but also one in which certification can demonstrate how we look after our forests, how we cooperate with indigenous people, how we protect worker’s rights, and so much more,” he continued.

Latham also addressed the global supply and demand for forest certification and certified timber, outlook and opportunities related to it, and its associated challenges and trends.

“In terms of global fibre consumption, tropical hardwood is a small part, but it is at the top of the pyramid, it is the prestige product,” he explained. “Demonstrating that it is legal and sustainable is a necessity, a necessity that ensures that the product that we value and love is given a true value in the market place.”

That there is a need for certification to prove that timber products are from sustainable sources was a key point of the discussion on forest protection, with Latham adding that the “best way to protect our forest is to use our forest in a sustainable manner.”