|ชื่อเรื่อง||Teak: a global overview|
|ผู้แต่ง||Pandey, D., & Brown, C|
|บรรณานุกรม||Pandey, D., & Brown, C. (2000). Teak: a global overview. UNASYLVA-FAO-, 3-13.|
Teak (Tectona grandis) is one of the world’s premier hardwood timbers, rightly famous for its mellow colour, fine grain and durability. It occurs naturally only in India, Myanmar, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic and Thailand, and it is naturalized in Java, Indonesia, where it was probably introduced some 400 to 600 years ago. In addition, it has been established throughout tropical Asia, as well as in tropical Africa (including Côte d’Ivoire, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, the United Republic of Tanzania and Togo) and Latin America and the Caribbean (Costa Rica, Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador, Panama, Trinidad and Tobago and Venezuela). Teak has also been introduced in some islands in the Pacific region (Papua New Guinea, Fiji and the Solomon Islands) and in northern Australia at trial levels.
Although relatively unimportant in terms of the volume of world timber production, because of its strength and aesthetic qualities teak is the tropical hardwood most in demand for a specific market of “luxury” applications including furniture, shipbuilding and decorative building components. It is thus of major importance in the forestry economies of its main producing countries.
Experiences with growing and marketing teak are of considerable relevance to growers of other high-value hardwood species, particularly in the tropics. Species such as mahogany (Swietenia macrophylla), red cedar (Cedrela odorata) and rosewood (Dalbergia sissoo) face similar challenges of competing in high-value niche markets, have longer growing cycles than many softwoods and present similar environmental concerns associated with harvesting from tropical forests. While some of the issues discussed in this article are largely unique to teak as a species, many are relevant to other valuable hardwood species.
During the past 20 years most supplies of teak wood from natural forests have dwindled and increased interest has developed in the establishment of teak forest plantations. The transition towards greater utilization of plantation-grown teak is not, however, being made without difficulty or controversy. Until recently, misgivings over the environmental impacts of teak plantations – particularly controversies regarding possible soil deterioration and erosion in pure teak plantations – rivalled those often associated with eucalypt plantations. Further controversy has been generated in several countries by the promotion of teak plantation investment schemes based on unlikely growth and yield projections, unrealistic pricing scenarios and dubious fund management strategies. Problems have mainly resulted from insufficient regulation and inadequate information or investor education. The long time horizons and broad range of price predictions associated with teak plantation investment have provided opportunities for less scrupulous entrepreneurs to exaggerate figures and deceive even moderately wary investors (see Box).
Nonetheless, with teak remaining one of the world’s most valuable timbers, interest in growing and investing in the species will remain high. Legislation and vigilance in both the commercial and the environmental spheres will be necessary to ensure that the teak-growing industry develops in an orderly fashion.