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Daily News / Forestry / Sawmilling / Africa / Europe
March 8, 2017

ATIBT to publish new guide to using African timbers in Europe

ATIBT to publish new guide to using African timbers in Europe

The Association Technique Internationale des Bois Tropicaux (ATIBT - International Tropical Timber Technical Association) has just released Volume 1 of their "User Guide for Eco-certified African Timber in Europe".

The aim is to help transform attitudes to tropical timber in Europe, enhancing awareness that it offers an efficient, technically superior and responsible material for use in a wide range of applications.

The ATIBT Guide shows how certified African species can supplement and complement temperate timber species, thereby helping to expand the total market for wood products in Europe.

To achieve these goals the guide promotes both the natural properties of tropical timber and the major effort to independently certify and verify the legality of forests and wood products in tropical Africa.

The ATIBT Guide was prepared by Patrick Martin and Michel Vernay, both qualified timber engineers and recognised experts in the use of tropical timber in construction. Financial support was provided by PPECF (Programme de Promotion de l'Exploitation Certifiée des Forêts - Programme for the Promotion of Certified Forest Operations) and the AFD (Agence Française de Développement - French Development Agency).

Volume 1 of the Guide is intended for European users of African timber, as well as all suppliers, distributors, designers, public buyers and instructors whose activities are linked to the timber sector. Volume 2, yet to be published, will target African consumers.

The Guide is divided into two sections. The first section provides technical information on the various aspects of tropical timber. It explains in layman's terms the principles of sustainable tropical forestry and its implications for land-use change, carbon sequestration and other environmental impacts, and describes the African production region, progress to achieve certification and its implications and benefits.

The first section also explains the various technical properties of tropical timbers (mechanical resistance, hardness, resilience, aesthetics, durability), provides information on drying and other treatments and appropriate applications, and thereby highlights the benefits of using tropical timber in construction.

The second section of the Guide describes the wide range of applications for which tropical timber offers clear technical, aesthetic and environmental advantages, including exterior and interior joinery applications, waterprotection and other heavy duty structural and industrial applications, boat building, and high value items like musical instruments and turnery products.

For each application, the guide provides information on the required properties of timbers, relevant standards, and a list of appropriate tropical timber species.

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