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Can Companies Stave off Forest Tipping Points?

April 30, 2018 |

This article was originally published on Conservation Finance Network

“What does it take to make a forest collapse ecologically? How can the corporate sector prevent this collapse of its natural capital?

According to Kerry Cesareo, vice president of the Forests Program at World Wildlife Fund (WWF), there are threats to the natural capital of the private sector that lie outside its current practices and need to be addressed. Along with traditional conservation programs and partnerships, the private sector is seeking to play a larger role in investing in programs that keep forests from reaching their ecological tipping points.

Just one company uses one percent of the entire world’s commercially harvested wood: IKEAApple used 131,000 metric tons of fiber for packaging in 2016. Chocolate companies and production are a major source of deforestation in West Africa, with 10 percent of Ghana’s tree cover having been replaced by cacao in the early 2000s.

While these are all companies with major impacts, they are also companies investing in greater forest conservation.Traditionally, private-sector conservation investments focus on supply chain-sourcing risks and resource-use efficiency. Many companies have made commitments to use only sustainably harvested products certified by Forest Stewardship Council™ (FSC), have a more efficient use of paper, or buy tracts of land to set aside as easements.

…There is a next step for companies – restoring forests. If a large company chooses to begin sustainable sourcing practices, then that does not guarantee that the amount of sustainable forest will grow. After decades of overuse, restoration is what is needed for resilient forest systems…”

Read on at: Conservation Finance Network.

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