Wood constitutes a renewable resource that uses less energy compared to materials such as concrete and aluminium. It could be interesting to prefer this “natural” material in the construction of a new eco-hotels. Yes, but beware…it is very important to obtain wood from exploitations that are engaged in sustainable processes.
In Europe and North America, forests are generally managed under sustainability standards, but this is not yet the case in forests all around the world, where the surface is shrinking constantly.
Deforestation has heavy consequences for the environment: the destruction of numerous animal habitats, degradation of biodiversity, cause of land slides, flooding, less Co2 absorption causing greenhouse gas, just to name a few examples.
The causes of deforestation are multiple: forests converted to export cultivation (palm oil, coffee, soya…) mineral or petrol exploitation, wood cut for heating, cooking or even…building.
Sustainable wood should not come from the conversion of a forest to a primary plantation site, or the eviction of native communities.
The first eco-certification in the forest management sector dates back to 1993 with the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). Today it is still considered to be the most credible certification system. It was followed by the creation of numerous other certification systems such as the Programme de Reconnaissance des Certifications Forestières (PEFC) which is preferred by French foresters. Bodies such as the Tropical Forest Trust, WWF (forest and trade network) or the Rainforest Alliance help businesses and managers of forests to obtain some of these certifications.
Certain certifications are also strongly criticized, particularly in the case of commercialization of exotic woods: soft specifications, low percentage of certified forests in the world, few natural forests certified, (certificates mostly given to single crop farming), weaknesses in accessibility for communities to obtain certification…
Franck Dziubak, the owner and manager of Tenorio Lodge in Costa Rica, shares his experience on the subject in the video below.
Translated from French by : Holly Cooper Chima.