By Peter Mach | Stand For Trees
Deforestation and forest degradation have significant impacts on climate, biodiversity and the livelihoods of those who rely on forests. Globally, it is estimated that nearly 1.6 billion people depend on forests as a source of income. The sustainable use of this resource, therefore, is imperative and consumers have a direct impact on how forests are managed.
Clearcutting and irresponsible tree felling are largely driven by the demand of consumers who seek instruments and other forest products at unsustainably low prices. The instrument-making industry has long cherished the value of old growth hardwoods, for tonal properties, aesthetics and woodworking ease. The market for inexpensive guitars has driven some manufacturers to procure timber at below market value and in some cases, illegally. Forests around the globe have been deforested or degraded and in many cases replaced with plantation species, including palm oil – hardly resembling what most would call “forests.”
While tree planting initiatives are a great option in some regions of the world devastated by natural and human impacts, the value of old growth forests and keeping trees standing is critical. Tree planting, and monolithic palm oil plantations simply cannot sustain the biodiversity natural forests provide. As consumers, we have the ability to demand that manufacturers use responsibly-sourced timber in their products.
It is important for us, as consumers, to support businesses that are making the legal and morally right decisions.