Throughout the twenty-something years that I have earned my living in the timber trade the environmental debate has been a constant presence. One conclusion that I have reached within the enormous scope of this debate is that those on either side of the argument who offer glib media friendly sound bites can only do so by selecting some facts and ignoring others. I welcome the interest that the public have in this debate but I regret the degree to which non-specialists can be misled in this way.
The existence of CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of wild flora and fauna) which is a governmental organisation, and the emergence of many non-governmental certification schemes, most notably the FSC (Forestry Stewardship Council), have helped to bring some much needed clarity to interested parties. They are probably the way forward for the mainstream of the timber trade and for imported timber products.
CITES is part of the law of the land so we abide by it in all of our dealings.
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Very large mahogany trees or small lumberjacks...?