However, these trees most often come out of the rainforest, and the harvesting of them is speeding along destruction of an area of nature that is sometimes referred to “the Earth’s lungs.”
The point was brought home with an excellent Marketplace radio piece about a mayor in New Jersey who defends using ipe for a $3.5 million renovation of an oceanfront boardwalk.
According to New Jersey environmental activist Georgina Shanley: “Unfortunately what they’re using here is uncertified ipe rain forest wood from Brazil. It’s like walking on a coffin.” Rainforest Relief tries to persuade U.S. municipalities not to use ipe for boardwalks and decks, the piece stated. But that can be a tough sell, because it’s so well suited to the job.
The alternative is to use ipe certified by the Forest Stewardship Council to be sustainably harvested. But it will cost more.
Listen to the story here.