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Choose wood, save the forrest

Using more hardwood, to protect the tropical forest? Duh?

Using more hardwood, to protect the tropical forest? Duh?

FSC, Forest Stewardship Council, has a huge communication challenge. The media and newspapers have communicated for decades that we lose many soccer fields of tropical forest per minute. And that the Amazon is deforesting rapidly. And the solution to this problem is: use more hardwood!

We were challenged to create a national campaign to explain people how this works and to convince them to choose tropical wood (FSC) for their house, furniture and toys. For the online communication, we created an animation about this contradiction. We focused on telling the story in simple and logical way, combining this with a natural forest and wood feeling. Using the emotion that people feel for nature and animals.

The biggest misconception about hardwood

When you use tropical hardwood for window frames or outdoor furniture, you hear people think: ‘you destroy the Amazon, how could you do this!’. Not only consumers assume that the use of tropical hardwood is irresponsible or wrong, also many professional buyers have this opinion. On the contrary, this is the biggest misconception about hardwood. The opposite is true: when you use tropical hardwood from a sustainably managed tropical forest, you ensure that this forest can be protected. For example against deforestation for palm oil or soy plantations.

Duh? Using more hardwood, to protect the tropical forest?

Cutting down trees in the tropics and still protecting the forest seems like a contradiction, but it is not. An FSC-managed forest is divided into plots, or annual sections. Only a limited number of trees are cut from a plot, often only one or two trees per hectare. After this, the entire plot is left for 30 years to recover. This keeps the forest healthy. Every year, another plot of the forest produces the desired wood. The more sustainable wood we use for construction, furniture or toys, the more plots of forest we need and the larger the total area that we can give value as forest and protect in this way.

Stills from the animation

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