- What Timberwatch does
Timberwatch monitors the negative social and environmental impacts of industrial timber plantations, and will call for the removal of plantations that have been planted unlawfully, or that have negative environmental and social impacts beyond acceptable limits.
Timberwatch opposes new timber plantations that could damage the environment, and/or that may not benefit affected rural communities meaningfully. Small woodlots that could provide rural peoples’ fuelwood and timber utility needs, and do not jeopardise water resources, livestock grazing, and food production, could be accepted.
Timberwatch researches and reports on the socio-economic impacts of industrial timber plantations on the lives and livelihoods of rural people. Timberwatch does not accept the establishment of timber plantations as carbon sinks. Apart from there being no conclusive proof that timber plantations can bring nett reductions in atmospheric carbon levels, using them as carbon sinks will only help industrial polluters in the North to justify further delays in reducing their excessive greenhouse gas emissions.
Timberwatch opposes the breeding and release of genetically engineered plantation trees, on both socio-economic and ecological grounds. The existing impacts of monoculture timber plantations would be made more severe if this new technology is used to interfere with tree growth, reducing work and thereby further impoverishing local communities.
Timberwatch lobbies government, industry, and bodies such as the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) to transform timber plantation governance, policy, and practice. Until now, the highly destructive industrial timber plantation model has been deliberately misrepresented as providing the same socio-economic and environmental benefits as biodiverse forests.