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Jakarta Post

Building to last protects forests

  • Trisha Sertori

    Contributor

Gianyar   /   Thu, September 27 2012   /  09:30 am

Saved: Using reclaimed timber in construction protects forests from logging.Growing at just two millimeters per annum, Kalimantan’s ironwood trees, locally called ulin, take a century to achieve just 20 centimeters in diameter.
This staggeringly slow-growing tree lives for more than a millennium, but mature trees are rare in forests and unfeasible as plantation timber.

This densely compacted growth makes ulin one of the hardest timbers in the world. It is unbeatable as a building material and in high demand in Indonesia’s rapidly growing regions, including Bali. And therein lies the dilemma, as ulin is now under threat of extinction.

The harvest of ulin for export from Kalimantan has been tightly limited to just a few licensed companies in recent years. New wood is pretty much only allowed for sale within Kalimantan.

Supporting the ban on newly extracted uli...