http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/297884

Half of UK public unaware they may contribute to illegal logging

Posted Sep 21, 2010 by Subir Ghosh
Half of UK consumers have no idea that the paper and wood products they are buying may be contributing to the destruction of the world’s forests. But two-thirds believe authorities should commit to buying sustainable wood and paper products.
After the logging.
After the logging.
Old Shoe Woman
The findings are from a survey carried out as part of WWF’s ‘What Wood You Choose?’ campaign. The two-year, EU-funded project, aims to help people make the right choices when buying wood-related products such as a new bed, flooring or paper for their printer. At present, only 7.5 percent of local authorities in England have a timber procurement policy.
Colin Butfield, head of campaigns at WWF-UK, said a statement, “If people buy any wood or paper products that aren’t certified then they could, unwittingly, be helping to fuel illegal and unsustainable logging activities across the globe. “Buying Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified products is the only way to be certain that the interests of the forests, the species that live in them, and the people that rely on them to make a living are being considered.”
The WWF survey, carried out by market research agency TNS, found that nearly three quarters of those questioned believed that their choices when buying wood and paper products could make a difference to people in developing countries, but only just over a quarter (28 per cent) had heard of FSC. The UK, incidentally, is the fourth largest importer of illegally harvested or traded timber and wood products in the world.
Timber-laden trucks.
Timber-laden trucks.
Joseph Andie Lamug
In July this year, the EU approved a law that will ban illegal timber and wood products from the European market from 2012. Companies importing timber will have to provide information about the country of origin of the timber they use and its legality. However, the law exempts printed products for now, and also fails to set minimum levels of penalties and sanctions.
FSC is an international non-governmental organisation dedicated to promoting responsible management of the world’s forests. There are national working groups in more than 50 countries including the UK. FSC UK is a registered charity. It is supported by NGOs including WWF, Greenpeace and the Woodland Trust.