I use and recommend to everyone a book called "The Wood Users
Guide" (1992 - but probably has been updated) by the Rainforest
Action Network (450 Sansome Street, Suite 700, San Francisco, CA
94111). It does not list bubinga (nor purpleheart, koa, or
padauk) as on the CITES lists nor on the FAO's list of "Endangered"
Forest Gene Species.
However the FAO lists are from the mid 80s and one has to wonder if
they have been updated and if not, why not. Companies who certify
and supply "ecologically harvested wood" are listed in the book also,
along with lots of other information. Contacting one of those
companies (such as EcoTimber, 350 Treat Ave. San Francisco, CA
94110; tel: 415-864-4900) would get you more updated information
about the particular spp. you are interested in.
One problem with "sustainable" plantations of wood species, as well
as of coffee, bananas, and any other tropical plant item we use, is
that a diverse tropical forest may very well be destroyed in order
to create the "sustainable" (or "organic" in the case of food
items) plantation. I feel that we should not be using any
tropical species (including the omnipresent banana!) unless they
are certified and that the certification includes certifying that
significant tropical forest wasn't destroyed (recently) to
create the plantation. This kind of strict certification
concerning what a plantation has replaced does not seem to be in the
The socio-economic problems often caused by plantation
systems, especially when run by large "outsider" corporations are
another huge problem, outside the scope of this discussion.