The WWF Living Forests Model suggests that the amount of wood we take from forests and plantations each year may need to triple between 2010 and 2050 to meet growing demand, and up to 25 per cent more natural forest would need to be managed for commercial harvesting by 2050.
Growing demand can destroy the very places where wood grows, but it can also motivate forest stewardship. Wood can be produced without destroying or degrading forests. This can generate income to enable standing forests to compete better with proposals to clear them to make way for other land uses.
The good news is that the area of forests certified by Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) has increased over time. Still, there is room for growth in FSC-certified areas and in addition to better forest management, improved governance and law enforcement is needed, with stricter trade regulations and accurate tracing of wood along supply chains. Better technology, for example more efficient and modern mills, would also help reduce the volumes that need to be harvested from forests.