The beautiful artisan cane furniture that we see around in a lot of homes all come from a humble palm called rattan. But the spiny, spindly tropical climber is being grossly misused and overexploited to meet our growing needs. It’s fair to say it is going down the route of timber. Forests have been shorn of rattans to the extent that some species are now on the verge of extinction. What can we do to save them (other than being less materialistic)? Find out in my piece for Mongabay-India, a newly launched site, here.
P.S.: After researching and writing this, I am never looking at cane the same way again.
Photo (thumbnail) credit: G. Ravikanth