New research carried out by Teak Resources and Market Assessment in dozens of countries earlier this year showed a rise in the area of planted teak forests, which produce excellent quality timber, especially when good management practices are in place.
In particular, planted teak areas have grown bigger in Africa, Latin America, and Asia. Asia has more than 90% of the world’s resources of teak, with India alone managing over a third of all the planted teak forests worldwide.
This compensates for a small decline, of less than 1.5%, in the area covered by natural teak forest.
Most natural teak forests are actually mixed deciduous or tropical evergreen forests, with a teak share of up to just over a third, sometimes as little as 4% of a natural forest will comprise teak.
Teak is one of the world’s most valuable and significant hardwoods, and forests planted with these trees have attracted extensive private-sector investment in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.
While it can take between 20 and 80 years for trees to be harvestable planting them is widely viewed as serving as a savings account for local communities. Long-term, smallholders are helped to improve their livelihoods and those of their families.
Given the increasing demand for teak garden furniture and similar products, the planting program is important ecologically and ethically. If you’re buying teak chairs and the like this summer, buy from a supplier you know sources teak sustainably, from controlled forests.