Timber products

Timber products

Some 70% of all timber exported from Indonesia is illegally logged.

In Australia, it is estimated that 9% of wood imports or $400 million is from illegal sources. (Jaakko Poyry Consulting 2005: Overview of Illegal Logging. Report prepared for Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, September). In 2007, the incoming Australian government made an election promise to ban illegally logged timber but has since changed stance to instead “promote the trade of legal timber”.

Your best option when buying wood-products is to avoid any of the tropical hardwoods. By doing this you can help us save the forests of Indonesia, and save the last orangutans. For alternatives refer to The Good Wood Guide.

Items to avoid:

Tropical Plywood

Indonesia is now the major producer of tropical plywood in the world.

The generic term for tropical plywood is Lauan but it may also be called meranti. More than half of the 200 different tree species that are sold as Meranti are listed as ‘endangered’ by the IUCN.

Its primary use is for the facing of interior doors and the backing of wood and faux-wood panelling. Furniture makers use lauan for backing of dressers and dresser drawers and the backing of shelf units. It is used frequently in construction for sub-flooring and sub-roofing and where small pieces of plywood are required.

There are no sustainable tropical plywood projects. 


Ramin is an endangered species that grows in the peat (swamp) rainforests of Borneo.

The largest use of ramin is for dowels and Indonesia is the world’s largest dowel producer. Dowels are used in numerous ways, but by far the largest use is for tool handles. Rakes, brooms, mops, plungers, brushes and the handles of other tools are often made from ramin dowels. So where possible buy tools with a plastic handle or metal frame.

Kwila / Merbau

Kwila/Merbau is a slow growing tree found throughout the South Pacific.  It is now listed by the World Conservation Union as “vulnerable”.

It is in demand for high quality applications including flooring, decking, stair material, ballustrades, handrails and posts, general construction, engineering, slicing and peeling veneers, boat building,  furniture (indoor and outdoor) and exterior joinery.

Teak, Ironwood, Ebony, and Sandalwood

Four hardwoods from Indonesia are teak, ironwood, ebony and sandalwood. These are slow-growing trees, so the sustainability of these species depends on their careful and restrained management.


Rayon is made from wood pulp — a particular kind called “dissolving pulp” which demands a very clean input stream. Indonesia has now eclipsed Japan and Korea as the largest producer of rayon. The rayon mills are huge consumers of rainforests.
People should avoid rayon if at all possible and consider garments made of cotton, silk or linen.

Orangutan Friendly Products / Palm Oil


How Can You Help

There are lots of ways you can support orangutans and help ensure the survival of this precious ape.

Adopt an Orangutan

Adopt an Orangutan

Orangutans are endangered and at risk of extinction. Habitat destruction results in hundreds of orphaned orangutans, who rely on our care every year. You can help by adopting one. Their dedicated ‘nannies’ teach them everything they need to know for when it’s time to release them back to the wild. You can follow their progress through Forest School.

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Make a Donation

Make a Donation

Please help the Orangutans in their struggle for survival. Your donation is important and goes directly to BOS Indonesia. By donating, you are helping bring this noble yet endangered species back from the brink of extinction and on a path to freedom - from rescue to rehabilitation and release.

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Visit Our Shop

Visit Our Shop

The perfect gift for any occasion! Choose from our selection of instant gifts that directly support our orangutans. You can buy a wheelbarrow, provide food for an orangutan for two months or lots more. You will receive a certificate, personalised with the name of your choice - perfect gift for you or a friend.

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