No surprise to me.
I have always said that certifications are difficult, if not impossible, to verify. And I have had arguments on this site with importers of exotic timber who take the position that "well, if we don't purchase the timber...they'll just cut it all down and burn it anyway for the agricultural needs"... (paraphrase).
Look at it this way...if you're going to purchase flooring or anything else made with an exotic (rainforest source) lumber, then accept the fact that in all likelihood you are contributing to the irrevocable elimination of these special ecological places.
We really do need to enforce the federal Lacey Act right down to the end user.
Here is a link that might be useful: Survival International
Let us do everything possible to make any rain forest timber has zero economic value.
That way we can be SURE no one will bother to protect it.
I don't quite understand...
I would think that if the market for the products vanished and humankind took responsibility for the preservation of these forests, there would be little downside. These ecosystems cannot be replaced and need our preservation efforts. It is very unfortunate that more isn't done to protect special places. America finally realized that it had to nationalize its special lands, in order that they would be preserved in some order to be enjoyed by future generations. The global community has done some things to preserve special ecosystems around the globe...it needs to do more.
"I would think that if the market for the products vanished and humankind took responsibility for the preservation of these forests, there would be little downside."
And in what fantasy is anyone going to take "responsibility for the preservation of these forests" if they have no economic value?
It shouldn't be about economic value, but more about responsible stewardship of the planet's natural resources and environment.
Our national parks have minimal economic value. They were set aside and taken out of the economic equation. Yes, the government does from time to time sell or lease mineral rights and certain other rights to use those lands to private corporations, but ownership and control of the lands remains with the federal government.
If the global community thinks it prudent to preserve the rainforests, then it needs to seek to remove them from the economic equation by removing them from private ownership and control. Any new entity established to act as trustee of these places would then sell or lease rights to use these places or harvest products based on a formula and protocols that will do minimal harm.
It's not easy, but it needs to be done, and it will be the global community that finally gets it done.
"It shouldn't be about economic value, but more about responsible stewardship of the planet's natural resources and environment. "
You are invited to spend YOUR money as you see fit.
Spending OTHER'S money requires getting them to agree.
glennsfc ... thanks for this thread. I've always been suspicious of the sources of exotic flooring. I was leaning toward domestic and this sealed the deal.
Our goal ought to be to convince nations that currently have these special places within their boundaries to do all they can to preserve them. It is not about spending other people's money. I don't see how money factors into this at all. It is about providing ideas to develop economic alternatives to the clear cutting of these forests for lumber and for agriculture.
The developing world could learn much from our own ecological blunders and avoid some of the environmental catastrophes we experienced during our own development. If that means that a few select corporations don't get to exploit the exotic timber in these forests, then so be it.
The Lacey Act could be a very effective piece of legislation, if it was utilized. Sure, it would have an effect on the bottom line of some of our native corporations, but it would also help shrink the market and availability of exotics, raise the prices and hopefully slow and eventually stop rainforest destruction.
"Our goal ought to be to convince nations that currently have these special places within their boundaries to do all they can to preserve them. It is not about spending other people's money. I don't see how money factors into this at all."
Setting aside forests makes them have zero economic potential, effectively spending someone else's money.
The US has huge forest resources, so setting aside a small portion had only a minor impact.
Most of these countries are dirt poor, and they need every source of revenue they can generate.
If you want to PAY them to not lumber areas that is one thing, but telling them they cannot exploit their own resources is taking money from them.
Maybe you can donate to make up for the loss.