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Shift from Unsustainable Wood Harvesting Practices

 The uniqueness of Japanese culture and traditions is not new to the world. Because of its distinct island geography as well as isolation from the outside world, it was able to moderate the influence of other cultures thus was able to develop a unique culture and heritage for themselves. One such unique concept is Daisugi, a Japanese forestry technique, which dates back to the 14th century. Due to the shortage of flat land in the region of Kitayama, plantation on steep slopes proved extremely difficult. This led to an ingenious solution, Daisugi, originally invented by the people of this region to solve the problem of shortage of seedlings. The term Daisugi roughly translates to “platform cedar”.

In simple words, Daisugi is growing of additional trees, out of existing trees – creating a kind of giant bonsai. This is a sustainable forestry management technique that can produce wood without cutting down the trees.  If done properly, this technique can prevent deforestation and result in perfectly round and straight timber (Taruki), used in the roofs of Japanese treehouses. If used in Indian context, it can prove to be a boon in both meeting country’s wood requirements to a great extent as well as in saving our forests. 

The policy shift towards forest conservation led to the availability of fewer sources of harvesting wood in India. As per the report Tree Outside Forest Resources in India (2020), the annual timber production from TOFs was 85 million cubic metres in 2020, while 15 million cubic metres of wood and wood products were imported, as per Sustainable Trade of Wood and Wood- based Products in India (2021). The total import of roundwood logs and sawn wood was 6 million cubic metres from 2014-15 to 2019-20. India not only imports wood products but also export most of them except for pulp and waste paper and newsprint. However, the value of exports is much less as compared to that of imports. During 2019-20 alone, wood and wood products worth about Rs 44,119 crore were imported. This imported timber will only become costlier in future due to its increased demand and strict enforcement of voluntary certification regime in exporting countries (according to FAO, India accounts for 10% of total illegal wood trade) further burdening both our economy and environment. India has already become self-reliant in producing small-sized wood but is still heavily import dependent for timber due to shortage of large-sized wood from the forests.

The need of the hour is to adopt techniques and methods which not only increases India’s self sufficiency but are also sustainable environmentally, economically and socially. Hence, Craste came up with the solution considering the economical, social and environmental costs. We buy crop waste directly from farmers which works for them as an additional revenue source, at the same time reducing the harm which stubble burning might have done to environment. So the social benefit is not only to farmers or reduction in CO2 emissions by reducing stubble burning incidents but also the 100% environment-friendly products that we create which includes formaldehyde free engineered boards used in furniture. These boards are aimed to replace the toxic and tree-based furniture, interiors, ceilings, walls etc and provides with a high quality and strong sustainable alternative to the threat posed by wood intensive industry.

The 80 million tonnes crop residue which is burnt every year in India can be turned into sustainable wood and wood products contributing to India’s self sufficiency besides social and environmental benefits.