News  |  08.10.2021

Discover the extraordinary variety of African timbers

The forests of the Congo Basin are home to an exceptional natural heritage, which is characterized by its floristic and its faunal diversity. Among the 20,000 known plant species, there are about 500 tree species (which can reach operating diameters), of which about 50 are currently commonly exploited.

ATIBT has always been committed to a better scientific and technical knowledge of the tree species present in the Congo Basin. An efficient and sustainable promotion of certified tropical timber requires a good understanding of the characteristics of the species. On its website Fair&Precious, ATIBT has thus carried out a work, now completed, of presentation of sixty species present in the forests of Africa, from abura to zingana.

Some of them, such as sapelli or okoumé, are historically well known and exploited. Others, such as gombé or okan (which can be used as a substitute for azobe), are less well known and deserve to gain visibility. This work is part of a twofold effort to promote FSC and PEFC/PAFC certified timber, as well as Lesser Known Timber Species (LKTS).

While referring to scientific and technical documentation (in particular the CIRAD Tropix sheets), the species pages of the Fair&Precious website are intended to be accessible to the greatest number of people, including a non-specialist public. Each "species sheet" presents the tree, the wood description, its characteristics and, above all, highlights its possible uses, emphasizing both the aesthetic and technical advantages of using tropical timber from responsible sources.

This online xylotheque is accessible here.