Sustainable forest management in the tropics
The concept of sustainability has its origins in forestry. The aim of sustainable management is that not only the present, but also future generations can manage the forest in the long term and sustainably. Clear-cutting and the displacement of forest areas by agricultural land stands in contrast to the sustainable management of forest areas. Sustainability therefore not only refers to the considerate treatment of nature, but also includes the economic pursuit of long-term yields. So there is no other branch of the economy that is so closely linked to the concept of sustainability and in which economic and ecological interests can be combined as forestry.
It is exactly this attitude that we want to promote in the production of our cutting boards: the forest should have a sustainable use and value for the local people. at Betterwood we are of the opinion that only rainforest protection that also respects the interests of the local population can be successful in the long term. Because the main reason for the destruction of the rainforest is its displacement by agricultural monocultures such as pastures, palm oil and corn fields.
Sustainable tropical timber is the implementation of and compliance with sustainable economic practices. However, this goal only becomes binding and verifiable when uniform standards are defined in a certificate system and the products that meet the set requirements are awarded this certificate. at Betterwood we have opted for the strictest international certificate and only offer FSC®-certified tropical wood.
The 10 principles of the FSC®
Forest management should respect all relevant laws of the country as well as international treaties and agreements to which the country has signed and meet the principles and criteria of the FSC®.
Long-term ownership claims and rights of use to land and forest resources should be clearly defined, documented and legally anchored.
The legal and customary rights of indigenous peoples to own, use and manage land, territories and resources are to be recognized and respected.
Forest management aims to maintain or increase the long-term social and economic well-being of forest workers and the local population.
Forest management promotes the efficient use of the diverse products and services of the forest so that it becomes economically viable in the long term and can ensure a wide range of environmental and social benefits.
Forest management aims to conserve biological diversity and associated values, water resources, soils and unique and fragile ecosystems and landscapes, thereby ensuring the ecological functions and integrity of the forest.
A plan that is appropriate for the size of the business and the management intensity of the forest enterprise is to be drawn up, applied and updated. It clearly describes the long-term management goals and the means to achieve them.
Documentation and evaluation appropriate to the farm structure should determine the condition of the forest, the yields of the harvested forest products, the trade and processing chain, the management measures and their social and ecological effects.
Management measures in forests with a high conservation value aim to preserve or increase their characteristics. Decisions concerning these forests should always be considered as a precautionary approach.
Plantations are to be managed in accordance with Principles 1 through 9, Principle 10 and its criteria. While plantations can provide a range of social and economic benefits and help meet global demand for forest products, they are intended to complement natural forest management, reduce pressure on it, and promote its restoration and conservation.