Reports into the increase in people searching for lost tropical rainforest timbers that fell to river and sea beds years ago, has prompted experts to use this as evidence of the ongoing demand for timber. A recent report in the Bangkok Post about the activity shows that there is a growing number of timber 'treasure-hunters' who search for long-lost logs of timbers no longer widely available due to logging restrictions.
Peter Collins of FRA, the research and analysis consultancy, said, “Many of these so-called treasure hunters are in operation in South-East Asia where a large number of exotic hardwood logs were lost during the period when logging of rainforests was more common and legal, back in the 1980s and 1990s."
The article in the Bangkok Post described how the exotic lumber is in demand in Asia in particular, where it is used for the construction of everything from bar tops to pianos.
“The populations of many Asian countries are growing increasingly wealthy and want fine things made of beautiful timbers. However, the logging of many of these timbers is now illegal and the only way to get hold of them is to rescue logs that have been sitting on river beds for several years,” explained Mr Collins. He added, "The alternative, of course, is to source timber from sustainable plantations, such as those run by firms like Greenwood Management in Brazil and Canada.”
FRA supports sustainable timber plantations that allow investors to buy up sections of timberland while receiving returns from when the timber is harvested, processed and sold on. Timber demand in general is high at the moment, particularly in China, India and Japan, which is making timberland investment even more attractive.
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Forestry Research Associates is a research and advisory consultancy that focuses on forestry management, sustainability issues and forestry investment around the globe.
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