Unless the UK moves to work on its sustainable supply practices, the country will continue to face a timber resource crunch, according to environmental group WWF.
The organization went on to say that UK forest businesses had grave concerns over the future of domestic softwood supply and that global demand for timber was expected to triple by 2050 due to an increase in demand of wood and paper products from growing economies and populations.
In WWF’s “100% sustainable timber markets: the economic and business case” report, it noted that by 2050 less than 22% of timber supplied in the UK market will be grown domestically.
Leading countries that supply timber to the UK are either at the point of expiry or running at a deficit as forest resources are used without adequate provision for sustainable timber supply.
The organisation also said many countries are running low on their own timber resources: Brazil with only 16 years of timber forests remaining, South Africa seven years, Colombia 12 years, Mexico nine years, Nigeria 11 years, Thailand nine years and Pakistan 10 years.
As the international market for timber change in its dynamics in the next few decades, UK businesses could be left exposed with fewer commercial options if no urgent action is taken.
“We can no longer rely on our usual sources of timber as unsustainable practices are having devastating consequences on forests, and we face a real danger of not having enough timber to satisfy our growing population needs,” said Julia Young, Global Forest and Trade Network manager for WWF-UK.
“Businesses need to review how their timber is sourced if they want to secure supply for the future, and in keeping timber prices stable.
“The UK Government must lead by example and address sustainable forest use in the urgently upcoming 25 year plan for nature.”
Source: Timber Trade Journal