What does 'responsibly forested' mean

What does 'responsibly forested' mean, and why is it important?

Responsibly forested wood means that wood harvested from healthy forests is done so in an environmentally friendly and sustainable manner. This includes:

- Harvesting rates and clearing sizes do not exceed a forest's natural capacity to regenerate.

- Natural forest conditions needed for wildlife and healthy ecosystems function are maintained.

- Rare, threatened and endangered species and forest types are maintained and protected

- No forests are cleared and replaced by barren tree plantations

- Chemical use is minimized or eliminated

- Streams and rivers are protected from soil erosion that degrades water quality and fish habitat.

- Workers, communities and indigenous people benefit from the forestry operation, and their rights and interests are protected.

THE FORESTS ARE OUR EARTH'S LUNGS!

They help us breathe by creating oxygen and filtering pollutants from the air, and help stabilize the global climate by absorbing carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas. They soak up rainfall like giant sponges, preventing floods and purifying water that we drink. 

They provide habitat for 90% of the plant and animal species that live on land, as well as being the homelands for many of the earth's last remaining indigenous cultures. They provide valuable resources like wood, rubber and medicinal plants, including plants used to create cancer drugs. Harvesting these resources provides employment for local communities.

ALMOST HALF OF THE WORLD'S ORIGINAL FORESTS HAVE BEEN CUT DOWN (APROX. 7.4 BILLION ACRES) AN AVERAGE OF 39.5 MILLION ACRES ARE ADDED TO THIS LOSS COLUMN EACH YEAR!

The destruction of forests releases tons of carbon dioxide (the main greenhouse gas and culprit behind global climate change) into the Earth's atmosphere. 

THE U.S. LEADS THE WAY IN WOOD CONSUMPTION, representing almost one third of the global wood-buying market. According to a report by the World Wildlife Fund, THE WORLD'S WOOD NEEDS COULD BE MET BY ONE FIFTH OF THE EARTH'S FORESTS – IF THESE FORESTS ARE MANAGED CORRECTLY!

FSC is an independent, international nonprofit organization whose membership is comprised of more than 500 environmental groups, progressive companies, forestry professionals, social scientists and groups representing labor, church and indigenous people's interests. They have established a set of international forest management standards, and offers certification only to those organizations that comply with these strict environmental and social standards.

http://www.fsc.org

Good Wood: How Forest Certification Helps the Environment 

Forest certification is a seal of approval for wood and paper products, allowing consumers to use their buying power for good...read more from the NRDC

 http://www.nrdc.org/land/forests/qcert.asp


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