04.03.2019 Management of forests – especially natural tropical forests – is environmentally and socially superior, but economically inferior to any other land use which destroys the forest. In a world economy which is measuring viability almost exclusively on return on investment, this economic inferiority of managed forests is the key challenge which must be addressed and reversed.
In order to succeed in reducing deforestation, the European Union will need to not only focus on products, but also to develop strategies to make forest management politically and economically attractive, so that it can compete with other land uses.
This was Interholco’s principal recommendation to the European Union, in a public consultation on stepping up EU action on deforestation and forest degradation, which ran until 25 February 2019. Along with Interholco’s perspective, summarised in a position paper, contributions to the public consultation will inform an integrated approach, which the European Union should publish by May 2019.
In the tropics, deforestation does not only put gorillas and forest elephants at risk of extinction, but is also at the root of severe environmental disasters, triggered by climate change. In addition, deforestation causes serious social injustice, such as human rights abuses against local and indigenous communities, increasing social unrest and poverty which eventually culminates in conflict and/or migration flows.
The European Union is aware of being part of the problem, as one of the top importers of soy, palm oil, cocoa or meat, which account for almost 80% of all deforestation, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).
Since 1962, INTERHOLCO is serving an international clientele with high-quality hardwood – Made in Africa.
With annual sales of about EUR 65 Mio., the Swiss-based INTERHOLCO is one of the leading international suppliers of sustainable hardwood, from sourcing and processing to high quality hardwood products: logs, lumber, laminated scantlings and more. In addition to three processing sawmills, large kiln facilities, a lamination and planing mill, INTERHOLCO manages an FSC-certified 1.1 million ha forest concession in the Republic of Congo (Brazzaville), employing a diverse dedicated global workforce of about 1’000 people. INTERHOLCO serves over 50 countries world-wide, from importers to industrial end-users.
INTERHOLCO is committed to making sustainably harvested timber from Africa the norm, as a renewable material that improves people’s livelihoods in the region and protects the forest and its precious wildlife. INTERHOLCO supports the Fair&Precious initiative in its goal to increase market recognition of sustainable hardwood from Africa based on technical, environmental and sustainability considerations.
Communications contact INTERHOLCO
Tullia Baldassarri Höger von Högersthal
INTERHOLCO AG, Schutzengelstr. 36, 6340 Baar, Switzerland
Tel.: +41 (0)41 767 03 82