These days we’re all fairly aware of deforestation and the need to protect our trees. We recycle paper, and many people choose reclaimed wood for their homes, for furniture, flooring and more.
However it wasn’t always so. Human beings as a race are not very good at using something conservatively unless it is running out. So for many years, decades and centuries we cut down our forests without thinking of the future impact.
During the second half of the twentieth century, countries started to pay attention to their forestry and spent time replanting trees and working towards a more sustainable wood industry. In 1992, the efforts became more formal. At the Rio “Earth Summit” the participating countries agreed on the Forest Principles, as a non-legally binding code of practice. The Principles stipulated many things, including that all countries should take part in the “greening of the world” the conservation and planting forests, and forests should be managed to meet the social, economic, cultural, ecological and spiritual needs of present and future generations. They afford countries the right to use their forests for economic and social development, but in a responsible way, and protect unique forests, such as particularly old or rare species.
This was 30 years ago, and over the past 3 decades there have been further developments. Many of the agreements and measures have yet to be implemented, due to challenges within countries and the realities of starting such projects. However more attention has been paid to the role of forests in society and within wider ecosystems. There is a wider green agenda of building a more sustainable economy and way of life, which has impacted our view of the good work forests do for the world.
Using reclaimed wood is one of the easiest ways to know you are helping lessen the environmental impact of your construction project!