Everyone must now be aware of the almost irreversible damage done to tropical rainforests by the demands for agricultural land and fuel wood. The forest ecosystem is a rich source of beautiful and useful timbers and, although selective, their extraction does give cause for concern . Nonetheless, good quality timber is a major earner of foreign currency of significant value to the economies of these, mainly less developed countries. A way must be found of ensuring the survival of the forests.


One must put the problem into perspective and appreciate that only a very small percentage of the forest felled in the tropics actually ends up being exported to the United Kingdom for use by the timber trade. It is now well documented that the large part of forest destruction is as a result of inefficient agricultural practice and poor government control; most tropical countries have impressive forest management policies but commitment and the means of enforcement are, regrettably, all too often lacking.


We at Moss & Co wish to encourage a positive move to limit environmental damage. We aim to import only from sustainable sources and to stock and promote the increased use of temperate hardwoods and timber efficient man-made forest products. As a member of the Timber Trade Federation we are signed up to the Environmental Code of Practice which encourages improved standards of conduct and condemns illegal logging practices.


It is important to give tropical hardwoods a significant value by continuing to purchase them. Forest owners will only then see the importance of husbanding their resources and not be forced to seek alternative, higher value uses which inevitably lead to forest clearance for farming, mining, charcoal production etc. It is unrealistic to expect these hard pressed countries to isolate their forests solely as nature reserves and we should encourage management for a sustainable yield, compatible with the other legitimate requirements of the local people.


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