Ecoforestry is an alternative to industrial logging. Using minimal impact harvesting methods, landowners fell a small number of carefully selected trees, and process and transport the timber without damaging the surrounding forest.
Men try to move a freshly felled tree in to position to be milled by a portable saw mill. The village received the mill as part of the Global Forest Rescue Station, Lake Murray Papua New Guinea
This ecotimber is sold to overseas markets, providing local people with independence, an income and employment while protecting their forest resources for the future. Greenpeace estimates that ecotimber provides up to ten times more profit to local communities than large scale logging operations.
Other options for income generating activities include ecotourism and the manufacture of non-timber forest products such as tapa cloths, bilum bags and nuts. These sustainable alternatives can only exist if the forest is preserved.
In the Solomon Islands, ecotimber is milled from hardwood species Pacific Mahogany/Koilo (Callophyllum), dillenia (Dillenia salomonensis) and Taun (Pometia pinnata). It can be used for joinery, floorboards, benchtops, decking, panelling and furniture.
The ecoforestry industry in the Solomon Islands has shipped beautiful ecotimber to New Zealand and Australia.
"Ecoforestry is much better than logging. I prefer ecoforestry because we keep control of our forests and it does not spoil our sea, land, rivers and water catchment." Redol Gebe, project manager of the Lobi Ecoforestry project in the Solomon Islands.
Want to know if wood products from ancient forests have come from ecoforestry? Be sure to purchase Forest Stewardship Council certified timber.