‘Peak’ Timber Concerns in Tropics

‘Peak’ Timber Concerns in Tropics

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Current tropical timber practices are not sustainable and nations should consider the implications of ‘peak timber’, a study has suggested. A team of researchers says the standard cutting cycle of 30-40 years is too short to allow trees to grow to a volume required by commercial loggers. As a result, the pressure to harvest primary forests will continue, leading to ongoing deforestation.

“Unless something fundamental changes … we believe that logged tropical forests will continue to be over-harvested and, far too frequently, cleared afterwards, leading to an inevitable global decline in native timber supplies,” the research team warned. “It has become common these days to speak of ‘peak oil’. In the tropics, we assert, we should also begin to seriously consider the implications of ‘peak timber’.”

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