Dr Penny Bienz, the Timber Trade Federation‘s head of environmental affairs, has participated in a House of Commons televised debate on issues surrounding deforestation.

The debate, hosted by BBC World and the International Institute for the Environment and Development, featured panel experts Dr Alan Knight of Kingfisher plc, Bodyshop founder Dame Anita Roddick, Simon Counsel of Rainforest Foundation UK and the World Bank‘s David Kaimowitz.

An invited audience included Dr Bienz, NGOs and representatives from government departments and industry.

Issues discussed included forests as a global asset, the huge growth in Chinese wood consumption, boycotting tropical hardwoods, the important role of importing nations’ governments and the link between forest protection and human rights.

Dr Bienz said the debate, to be edited into a 46min programme produced by Television Trust for the Environment’s Earth Report team, was more about recording a television show than an academic discussion of key social and forest protection issues.

She said: “What was missing was any strong reference to the United Nations Forum on Forests which looks to address many of the issues raised during this debate and is currently meeting in Geneva.”