Flooring and construction material is often made of Keruing, Meranti, Yellow Balau or Bangkirai from Indonesia’s endangered natural forests. These products are often harvested in conditions that do not respect the environment or the local people. Loggers cut down all valuable trees and leave a trail of destruction behind, literally paving the way to complete deforestation and land conversion to palm or soy plantations.
The raw material is sold through a number of intermediaries and reaches our stores without mention of its origin, its destructive past has been erased and forgotten along the way. With natural forests decreasing rapidly, we need to know the stories of these planks of wood that make our parquet floors and our tables and chairs.
We need to act to change this story, so how?
TFT’s approach is to ensure that products come from forests that continue to thrive, with people and wildlife living within a vibrant standing forest. Working with a number of forest companies in Indonesia, We achieve this goal by guiding and advising companies towards responsible management of these forests. In this way a sustainable income is generated from the forest but using responsible practices so that the forest remains intact. With a secure long term financial value the forest is thus protected from developers and land conversion.
Andalas Merapi Timber (AMT)
The AMT forest is located within a rich but fragile ecosystem on the island of Sumatra, almost completely surrounded by protected forests and only 10 km from a National Park. It is host to unique flora and fauna including the Orang-utan and the Sumatran Tiger.
The island is home to tree species of high commercial value and as a result, Sumatra has lost almost half of its natural forest cover in the last twenty years due to illegal logging and agricultural conversion.
A combination of inaccessibility as well as rugged terrain has meant that the forests in the vicinity of AMT have fared slightly better than in other parts of the island; however this is changing rapidly as palm oil plantations come ever nearer.
The story of Indonesian hardwood is too often a story of social and environmental degradation. TFT is working hard to help change it and make sure the forests keep their values as standing and working ecosystems; bringing income as customers buy responsible forest products which originate from these precious forests.