Fears over timber traceability have created opportunities for technology startups – but also challenges for certification bodies
The prized tropical hardwood merbau was once found in abundance from east Africa to Tahiti. It is beloved of homebuilders and furniture stores around the Asia-Pacific region, but, thanks to decades of merciless logging, today only New Guinea holds enough to be harvested in commercial quantities.
Verifying that merbau, which fetches about $2,500 a cubic metre on the open market, is genuinely sourced from sustainably forested areas, either in Papua New Guinea or West Papua in Indonesia, gives the conscientious buyer an almighty headache. But it is also proving a boon for wily technology companies.
Continue reading at Guardian Sustainable Business.