It is very simple: if you want to save trees then use them.
Trevor Bettell’s letter (page 29, 16 April) displays exactly the kind of naivety that is inhibiting the partnership of NGOs, governments and industry that is fighting so hard to arrest deforestation.
Wood is the greenest building material known to man. It is endlessly (and uniquely among mainstream building materials) renewable. Trees also uniquely absorb carbon dioxide and store it in the wood we use.
Grown and harvested sustainably – and that can and does happen in tropical rainforests – wood brings economic activity to people who desperately need it. Such sustainable forest management preserves the forest in the face of intense competition for land use from the real drivers of deforestation: palm oil, cattle and soya.
Perhaps it is worth noting that in the UK we use tiny amounts of tropical timber in construction.
John White, chief executive, Timber Trade Federation