Module: Environmental aspects of wood Unit: Sustainable sourcing
The significance of the world’s forests should not be underestimated, for in addition to providing us with raw materials, they have many important environmental roles, such as: releasing oxygen into the atmosphere, providing wildlife habitat, and storing carbon.
However, currently, approximately 13 million hectares are being lost each year mainly in tropical areas. Typical reasons include: loss through natural causes, logging (both legal and illegal), and converting land to other uses, such as for agriculture.
By contrast, forest areas are now increasing in most of the developed countries with temperate and boreal forests, as well as in the Middle East and Asia.
Sustainable management of forests is essential.
Certification and chain of custody help to maintain standards.
Tree species fall into two main groups: deciduous and coniferous.