Friday, June 8, 2007

Sustainable Tropical Hardwoods Anyone?

While the global powers-that-be wrangle in the Heiligendamm G8 over how the Kyoto Protocol threatens their “industry”, some entrepreneurs are saving the planet via sustainable business practices.

By: Vanessa Uy

Tropical hardwoods harvested by sustainable means and have ecological certification has been in vogue lately with top- notch European furniture designers. These woods are priced by the designers not only for their exquisite quality but also the fact that you can purchase one guilt-free. Finally, we can now experience the pride of ownership of beautiful tropical hardwood furniture in our own homes without the guilt that used to come with these items like deforestation and/or swindling indigenous tribes from an honest and fair transaction.

A German company called Unique Wood imports rare tropical hardwoods from Paraguay that are grown and harvested by sustainable means with the attendant certification. As you know, the concept and practice of sustainable forestry was invented in Germany in the 19th Century. So it’s only right for her to set an example for the rest of the world.

A German business consulting firm, GTZ train the local Paraguayan wood suppliers on sound business practices while maintaining the environmentally friendly ethos that keeps the tropical hardwood supply sustainable. Just as well because the demand in Europe for tropical hardwoods has increased over the past few years. At present, only 5% of Paraguay’s original forest remain today. When Unique Wood’s suppliers harvest tropical hardwoods, nothing is wasted. The excess limbs and branches are turned into charcoal with ecological certification in keeping in line with sustainable development so that the biodiversity of the local forests are preserved. Sadly, not all –if enough- of Paraguay’s forest resources are harvested and managed in a sustainable manner.

No comments: