A new report from Forest Trends warns that international demand for ipê wood from trees located in the Amazon Basin is bound to lead tp the species’ extinction. Not unless better regulations on the international trade of the wood are implemented as soon as possible.
As it is, there is a high demand for ipê hardwood in the luxury lumber market, especially for use in the construction of decks, floors, outdoor boardwalks and outdoor furniture. The Forest Trends report urges officials to list the rare species under CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species) which forms part of the international convention for regulating the trade of threatened Wild Fauna and Flora species.
Why Ipê Trees Must be Included in the List of Endangered Species
Ipê trees are rare and is the most popular species brought as hardwood supply in the global luxury wood market. They are not abundant in the forest because Ipê trees take time to grow; needing between 80 – 100 years to grow into maturity. Moreover they prefer to expand and flourish in low density areas, and are not likely to thrive in plantations or by way of other restoration processes.
Miguel Pacheco, the Policy Director at WWF Peru said that an already not-so-abundant species is being internationally overexploited and exported across countries like the US, Canada, Europe. China, South Korea, Japan, India and Israel. The report stated that between the years 2017 and 2021, as many as 525 million kilograms of Ipê wood were exported to these forrign, the bulk of which went to the United States.
Since the Ipê population had severely declined during the past 30 years, a proposal to list ipê in CITES was put forward by the governments of Brazil and Ecuador. However, for some unexplained reason, the petition was withdrawn in 2019. Marigold Norman co-author of the new Forest Trends report said that they believe ipê should already be under the protection of the CITES.