News  |  30.07.2021

SOLIDEO response to the open letter regarding the exclusion of tropical timber

Chaired by Mrs. Anne Hidalgo and directed by Nicolas Ferrand, SOLIDEO is the French public establishment in charge of the delivery of works and development operations necessary for the organization and the holding of the Paris 2024 Summer Olympic Games. Last April, several organizations of the forestry and wood industry gathered to sign a letter to the attention of this public institution, alerting it to the consequences of the exclusion of exotic and boreal woods from the constructions of the Olympic Village.

SOLIDEO response to the open letter regarding the exclusion of tropical timber

This letter is available here.

It is signed by the president of our association ATIBT, jointly with Le Commerce du Bois  (LCB), the Union des Industries du Panneau Contreplaqué (UIPC), the Malaysian Timber Council (MTC),  the European Sustainable Tropical Timber Coalition (STTC) and the Union des Métiers du Bois (UMB-FFB). This letter was shared with many institutions such as ITTO, COMIFAC, AFD, PPECF, FFEM and many ministries concerned by this decision of SOLIDEO.

Olman Serano, as president of ATIBT, received a response from Nicolas Ferrand (Executive Director of SOLIDEO) on July 17.

The response letter is available here.

If the SOLIDEO takes into account our "reservations about the drafting of the specifications for the real estate operators of the Athletes' Village as well as (our) arguments in favor of exotic and boreal woods" it retorts that "the projects of the Olympic works are today at a level of progress that does not allow to change the materials".

However, if as indicated in the response letter, SOLIDEO wishes to be the ambassador of climate change mitigation, adaptation to climate change and a city committed to biodiversity, the use of wood depending on its origin can not be prohibited. Indeed, as the French Ministry of Ecological Transition rightly reminds us in the purchasing guide S’engager dans une politique d’achat publique : « zéro déforestation » published in November 2020, "if wood is boycotted, tropical forests lose their production that can be used for foreign currency and pressure is then strong to clear them for agropastoral or agro-industrial purposes (rubber, coconut, oil palm)".

In order to satisfy a more sustainable and decarbonized model, public policies must therefore commit themselves from now on to the use of wood in all its forms.  Indeed, the certification and traceability of wood guarantee the preservation of the world's forests and their biodiversity while fighting against climate change, the ban on the use of tropical and boreal wood is therefore an ecological nonsense.

Given the climate emergency, ATIBT and the signatories of the letter will continue their actions to defend the use of sustainable and ethical construction products. We therefore reiterate our request for a meeting with the SOLIDEO teams to find now a solution that would satisfy the integration of this abundant and sustainable supply into the construction of the infrastructure of the Paris 2024 Summer Olympic Games. In this sense, leading companies involved in the construction of the Olympic Village have expressed their regret at not being able to offer tropical and boreal wood products that meet technical, aesthetic and ecological requirements.

ATIBT is currently exchanging with the authorities of various wood-producing countries in the tropical regions (Cameroon, Gabon, Republic of Congo, Malaysia) in order to organize a diplomatic mission to France.