We get frustrated by the lack of public knowledge on what is happening in the world of timber, so we continue to try and educate the public on this serious matter.
Unfortunately, many Australian's have purchased illegal wood for their deck. Both with and without their knowledge. Preserving the trees, woodlands and forests us essential for future survival or humans, so purchasing illegal wood can cause serious problems.
In this article, we will explain everything you need to know about illegal wood in Australia.
What is illegal wood?
Illegal wood is the product of illegal logging.
What is illegal logging?
Illegal logging is the harvest, transportation, purchase or sale of timber in violation of laws. The harvesting procedure itself may be illegal, including using corrupt means to gain access to forests, extraction without permission, or from a protected area, the cutting down of protected species, or the extraction of timber in excess of agreed limits.
Preserving our forests is very important, so these practices can have serious consequences for future generations.
What is illegal logging in Australia?
Illegal logging is a very serious problem in Australia (and internationally).
Illegal logging in Australia promotes forest loss and damage, robbing developing nations of up to $30 billion USD in revenue each year.
Cheap timber floods the Australian market which creates an unfair advantage over legitimate timber producers, who can not match the low cost.
Am I buying illegal wood?
To avoid supporting the illegal logging and illegal wood market, you must purchase timbers in Australia that have tracking on their "chain of custody".
"The chain of custody standard (AS 4707) provides all organisations in the wood and forest products certification chain with the minimum criteria and requirements to implement a credible system for the tracking of wood or forest products originating from certified forests through the phases of ownership, transportation and manufacturing to the end consumer."
To carry the Responsible Wood or PEFC logos, all products must have a minimum of 70% certified content.
What can I do to avoid buying illegal wood?
When buying timber for a deck, ask a couple of simple questions:
Do you have an FSC certification?
If they answer anything but yes, don't buy the timber.
Do you have a chain of custody on your timbers and can I see it?
If the answer is I will get back to you, or no, don't buy the timber.
If you but the timbers that don't have the chain of custody you are supporting illegal logging.
What is sustainable wood?
Sustainable wood comes from sustainably managed forests. It's renewable because the forest stewards manage the landscape to prevent damages to the ecosystem, watersheds, wildlife and the trees themselves, taking a long term approach rather than a short term view.
Sustainable wood can also refer to buying locally to reduce the amount of energy consumed in the harvesting, processing and transportation of materials.
Wood from unsustainable sources, on the other hand, is chopped down at will. This leaves large bare areas that unless carefully treated, never really recover.
The effects are clear - illegal logging leads to wholesale destruction.
How do I identify sustainable wood?
Always look and ask for official certification of the wood's sustainable source, for example, The Forest Stewardship Council.
The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is an independent, not for profit organisation promoting responsible management of the world's forests. This certification system provides internationally recognised standard-setting and trademark assurance to anyone, business or individual, who is interested in supporting responsible forestry.
The FSC logo is something you can rely on, and there's also the PEFC logo, a sign that the programme for the endorsement of Forestry Certification has been involved.
Together they help guarantee wood comes from sustainable sources, replaced after harvesting, taken without harming the environment and neighbouring ecosystems.
What makes Deck-Max different?
We often get asked why our timbers are more stable and cost a little more than others. The reason for this is we take great care with our imported and locally grown timbers. We build strong relationships directly with the Mills and make sure they comply with sustainable forestry.
People still buy and sell illegal woods because of price. You need to ask yourself, is it really worth it?