40 % of French imports of tropical wood come from illegal exploitation.

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Etat d'Amazonas - Exploitation et transport du bois sur l'Amazone - Brésil © ALTITUDE/Arthus-Bertrand Yann

Amazonas State – Wood exploitation and transport on the Amazon River – Brazil © ALTITUDE/Arthus-Bertrand Yann

To cater for ever-growing demand, France imports increasing amounts of tropical wood. Unfortunately a lot of it is produced illegally. This is the case of 40 % of French imports. The way this illegal wood is removed severely harms the forest and all the creatures living in it. And yet, it is estimated that half of the world’s biodiversity is found in tropical forests.

However, exploitation and preservation are not incompatible. Some selective logging methods mean that only certain trees can be cut; this ensures the forest’s renewal and guarantees that the economic activity can be maintained over the long term.

Similarly, Europe’s forests are now growing and they are severely underexploited. They could be used as an alternative to tropical wood. It would be more logical to use these forests rather than encourage the devastation of tropical forests.

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