October 27th, 2010 by Peggy Farabaugh
One of our founding missions at Vermont Woods Studios Furniture is rainforest conservation. We are trying to raise awareness about where your furniture comes from. Did you know that up to 90% of the furniture in America is made from illegally harvested wood that is plundered from the world's rapidly disappearing rainforests? Furniture buyers can help correct this situation by avoiding the purchase of imported furniture and flooring. The wood for most American made furniture is sourced in sustainably managed forests in the USA.
Here's an example of why this issue is so important. News agencies, Mongabay and the BBC are reporting again about virgin primary rainforest in Madagascar being illegally pillaged by Chinese logging companies. Irreparable damage to the fragile rainforest ecosystem is taking place. The very unique species that live there are being pushed further towards extinction. This is not really news– it's happening continuously in nearly all of the worlds rainforests.
This photo shows the deforestation in Madagascar. With its rivers running blood red from soil erosion and staining the surrounding Indian Ocean, astronauts have remarked that it looks as if Madagascar is bleeding to death.
The Madagascan destruction is to satisfy China's demand for rare rosewood which they use to make beds that sell for upwards of $1 million each. In the process, we see a free-for-all of illegal hunting of some of the country's most endangered and charismatic species (including the lemur which is found nowhere else on earth) according to Conservation International.
We're asking our customers and readers to avoid the purchase of exotic woods and to spread this message to their friends and colleagues. There are conservation laws on the books but corruption runs rampant in these rainforest countries. Only a decrease in demand for the lumber will help to preserve these lands and the species that have evolved there for millions of years. Please spread the word… Thanks!