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Local authorities: you can help protect forests

If you work in a local authority - do you or your contractors buy any wood or paper products? That’s things like paper, furniture, fencing, pallets, timber for construction, plywood or doors.

Did you know that more than 1.5 million cubic metres of timber imported into the UK is from illegal sources? And the public sector is responsible for around 20% of all timber purchased in the UK?

Illegal logging Indonesia

Our research shows that local authorities often don’t keep records of the timber products they buy, and our 2012 report showed that over half of UK local authorities don’t have a timber procurement policy. If you don’t know where your timber comes from, you could be supporting the illegal and unsustainable timber trade, which threatens forests and the many people who depend on them, in countries like Indonesia and in the Congo Basin.

Local authorities have a great opportunity to influence the way timber is harvested and processed, by making sure they're buying responsibly sourced wood and paper. That's why we have asked all local authorities to make a pledge to improve their timber purchasing.

Forest in Cameroon

In 2011/2012 we ran the Local Authorities Pledge campaign. We asked UK local authorities to make a pledge to improve their timber purchasing. Local authorities could choose which pledge they wanted to make: Gold, Silver and Bronze.

The campaign was a great success with 95 local authorities (almost a quarter of all local authorities in the UK) making a pledge, and we're now supporting them in achieving their goals.

We're working with the UK government's Central Point of Expertise on Timber Procurement (CPET) who offer workshops for local authorities. And we offer email support for any questions on sustainable timber purchasing - contact Julia Young jyoung@wwf.org.uk.

FSC certified wood
Logs, East province, Cameroon

Read our 2012 report: Barking up the right tree? A scorecard of UK local authorities’ responsible wood and paper procurement

Barking up the right tree?

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