This course provides an overview of why and how to specify and source responsible wood products as a means of promoting better forestry, of protecting the world’s most ecologically important places, and of reducing the most pressing threats to life on Earth. Included are discussions of the threats to forests around the globe, such as deforestation, forest degradation, illegal logging, agriculture, cattle ranching, and greenhouse gas emissions. As well, we review the various forest and product certification systems, including the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), that have been developed to protect the environmental and social values associated with forests. Given that deforestation and forest degradation is such a vast and complex challenge, there is not one, single solution. However, there are key strategies that will be explained that can help counter these issues (i.e., protected areas, forest laws and enforcement, and responsible forest management). The most relevant solution for building professionals is responsible sourcing - growing the trade in responsible wood products. To that end, the practical steps that today's building professionals can take to ensure that wood has been sourced legally and responsibly are outlined in this course.
- Discuss why forests are vital to life on Earth and why we need to use and manage our forest resources more wisely.
- Identify four priority forest regions, and both wildlife and wood species from them, that are currently under threat.
- State the forestry concerns that affect North America.
- Define the threats to forests and the impacts of deforestation.
- List the solutions to deforestation and forest degradation, including responsible forest management and strategies for sourcing and specifying responsible wood products.