TAG | chair cane
Frankfurt, Germany: Natural rattan belongs to the design classics and it is making a comeback in design circles. Unfortunately, conventional forestry practices may damage tropical forests when the rattan is harvested.
To avoid this forest destruction, WWF has set up a European Union funded programme for sustainable production and processing of rattan in the Mekong region. An innovative collection for rattan home accessories is being showcased this week at the international design fair Ambiente in Frankfurt/Main.
WWF is working with Swedish designers, graduates from Lund University, in cooperation with local companies, to develop rattan products that are suitable for the international market. These products range from doormats made of rattan waste to foldable baskets, and a unique rattan lounge chair.
An analysis of global trade in rattan
In addition, the WWF has analysed the worldwide trade flows of rattan. The key points of a scientific study launched today include: between 2006 and 2008, global trade declined by 26% due to dwindling rattan resources and forest loss. Indonesia is the most important exporting country in the world, with a market share of 80%.
The major buyers are the EU and China. Vietnam plays an essential role for the EU market, exporting mainly to Germany and France. Vietnam is also a major importing country – the suppliers are Laos, India, Cambodia, and the Philippines.
What is rattan?
Rattan species are members of the palm family and grow climbing and winding themselves around other vegetation and some varieties can grow to lengths of more than one hundred metres.
“Forests with such a wide variety of flora and fauna, which have disappeared in other regions of the world, still exist in the Mekong region”, said Thibault Ledecq, WWF Sustainable Rattan Project Manager.
“More than 1,000 new animal and plant species have been discovered in the Mekong region in the last ten years alone”. But many of these rattan resources are being overexploited, leading to a decline of many rattan species, prompting WWF to create the Sustainable Rattan Programme in Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam five years ago.
About the rattan project
The objectives of the programme are to manage the tropical forests containing rattan in accordance with the Principles and Criteria of the FSC (Forest Stewardship Council), and to promote and implement the United Nations’ principles of “Cleaner Production”. These include the optimisation of material and energy flows, minimising waste and water contamination, and reducing emissions.
“Sustainable rattan only has a chance if there is a market for it and if the forests where the rattan grows are still standing”, explained Ledecq. He is convinced: “With credible forest management, responsible trade, and consumer awareness we can ensure that this fascinating natural raw material has a future”.
BEIJING: The commercial value of China’s forestry products is expected to hit 2.4 trillion yuan (USD 364.74 billion) in 2011, according to China’s State Forestry Administration .
The value of forestry industry output stood at two trillion yuan last year.
Rosin, rattan and bamboo furniture, wooden floor boards, fried fruits and flowers contributed noticeably to the value of commercial forestry, Xinhua quoted official reports as saying.
China will further boost its output in herbal medicines, mushrooms, vegetables and animal husbandry in forest regions, according to the administration.
China invested 297.9 billion yuan in forestry during the 11th Five-Year period (2006-2010), an increase of 80 percent from the previous five-year period.
In China, forests are defined as woods covering an area of more than 1 mu (0.07 hectares) with a crown density – the amount of sunlight blocked by plant materials – at or above 20 percent.
Rattan home accessories made in Cambodia are being showcased this week at a leading home furnishings trade fair in Frankfurt, Germany.
Baskets, lamp stands, trays and flower pots have been made by the Rattan Association of Cambodia with support from WWF.
The collection of clean and green products conform to European-quality standards and is a major push by Cambodian producers to seek new markets for their wares at the Ambiente international trade fair.
“With support from WWF’s rattan project, we achieved many creative and attractive product designs that we bring to the attention of international visitors at the fair, which provides a great opportunity for Cambodia rattan producers to learn more about international market requirements and trends, as well as marketing,” says Khun Than, vice chairman of the Rattan Association of Cambodia.
Meeting potential buyers from Europe is part of the agenda and will be aided by WWF members. The group of Cambodian exhibitors will meet representatives of the Swiss Import Promotion Program to promote their product designs.
Ou Ratanak, WWF’s rattan project manager, says Cambodian rattan producers are now able to tell buyers about their commitment to green production practices and meet demand.
“Rattan companies are ready to provide to the market environmentally friendly goods with diversified product designs,” he says.
WWF’s Sustainable Rattan Project aims at managing the tropical forests containing rattan and promoting cleaner production. These include the optimisation of material and energy flows, minimising waste and water contamination, and reducing carbon emissions.