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WWF - Forests for Life Programme resources

News, publications and job feeds from WWF - the global conservation organization


"Okay Oak" a case study on responsible sourcing of white Oak from the Russian Far East

2018-04-04Wed, 04 Apr 2018 00:00:00 +0000

(image) "Okay Oak" is a case study presented by WWF and  Metropolitan Flooring, a Canadian-American flooring manufacturer and distributor, offering guidance and best practices for white Oak sourcing in China and Russia. 

Mongolian oak (Quercus mongolica) is a CITES listed species. It is often harvested illegally and unsustainably from forests in the Russian Far East (RFE).  The oak then flows over the Russian and Chinese borders and is often mixed in mills with oak from other parts of the world like the US and Europe.  Companies sourcing oak from China could be unknowingly purchasing wood that has been illegally or unsustainably harvested if they don't practice due care. 
But sourcing responsible Mongolian oak is possible! Read the case study here. 

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Responsible sourcing of forest products beneficial for businesses, new WWF report shows

2017-05-11Thu, 11 May 2017 00:00:00 +0000

Retail companies with strong responsible forest products sourcing policies are seeing numerous tangible business benefits, demonstrating that sustainability makes business sense, according to a new WWF report. Drawing from the experience of the forest product supply chains, the report supports a growing body of research attesting to the business benefits of taking action on sustainability in supply chains. "Deforestation and forest degradation are one of the leading environmental challenges today, and we need concerted action from across sectors to tackle this issue," said Alistair Monument, WWF Forest Practice Lead. "The number of deforestation-free commitments over the last few years are encouraging, but we need concrete action. "Research overwhelmingly shows that retail chains are positioned to mobilize transformational impacts because of their leverage over product supply chains and influence on consumer choices," Monument added. "We need retailers to take the lead and understand that sustainability is no longer a niche, but the norm." Companies surveyed for the WWF report cited a number of benefits of responsible sourcing. Over 80 per cent reported positive impacts on risk management and brand reputation; and over 60 per cent of retailers saw positive impacts on customer satisfaction and stakeholder engagement. More than 70 per cent of retailers claimed sustainability commitments had a positive impact on employee engagement, indicating potential gains from higher employee satisfaction and retention. While more than half of the respondents perceived the cost of implementation as a barrier, in-depth interviews with some of the leading retailers indicates that the benefits overweight the costs in many instances. In the case of Migros, one of the largest retailers in Switzerland, sales of sustainable products increased by more than 30 per cent between 2012 and 2015, demonstrating clearly that customers expect to see responsibly produced products on the shelves. In the case of Bunnings, Australia's largest home improvement retailer, supply chain risks were reduced as a result of a more stable, longer term relationship with fewer number of suppliers. "Companies with genuinely responsible timber sourcing strategies – based on clear commitments and public reporting – have an opportunity to stand out from the crowd," Monument said. "This is particularly important for retailers, who operate in a highly competitive public-facing space where maintaining a competitive edge and a positive reputation is crucial." The WWF study was based on a literature review, global survey of more than 50 retailers from 20 countries, and in-depth interviews with select retail leaders. The companies shared detailed information about their timber sourcing policies, and the perceived costs and benefits. Four company-specific case studies are featured in the report.  The report is part of WWF's broader efforts to research and understand the business case for responsible forest management and trade. Released in August 2015, the first report in the series, Profitability and Sustainability in Responsible Forestry: Economic impacts of FSC certification on forest operators, found that tropical and small or medium producers, regardless of geography, can benefit significantly from attaining FSC certification.---ends---For further information:Huma Khan, +1 202 203 8432,[...]

Media Files:

WWF Forest Sector Transformation Annual Review 2016

2017-01-26Thu, 26 Jan 2017 00:00:00 +0000

(image) The FST Annual Review 2016 recaps WWF's most notable achievements in forest sector transformation and our work with partners and participants to protect forests through a solutions-oriented, integrated and local to global approach.

Major highlights

Tackling illegal timber trade
2016 brought positive developments in the fight against illegal logging in both forest and consumer countries. WWF was at the forefront of many of those critical efforts.

Thinking outside the wooden box
A move toward greater collaboration at the World Forestry Congress 2015 and through the new WWF Forest Solutions Platform.

Making sustainable forest management profitable
FSC certification can directly benefit the bottom line of certain type of forest operations, making it good for the planet and good for business.

Planting new ideas
New Generation Plantations (NGP) study tours expanded to more diverse areas, bringing together many different stakeholders to understand and showcase how well managed plantations can benefit nature.

From controversy to cooperation
A responsible forestry roundtable is improving forest management and legal compliance by Chinese companies in Gabon.

Communities taking control 
From the Central African Republic to Cameroon, community engagement and capacity building is a cornerstone of WWF's work in Central Africa.

Towards legal timber in Bolivia and beyond
Smartphone technology is one of the innovations supporting responsible forest management in Bolivia.

US companies play leadership role to save the world's forests
Promoting FSC is central to the approach of some of the country's top brands.

GFTN participant Fortum Varme leading the way on bioenergy
Swedish company became the first in the world to receive FSC Chain of Custody certification, and has upped the ante on sustainably produced bioenergy.

New hope for Guinea's forests
A new model of sustainable forest management is helping protect forests from slash-and-burn and agricultural activities that have been causing deforestation.

Smallholders in China see fruits of FSC certification
Thousands of small-scale tree farmers in Linyi, China, have joined forces to benefit from the growing demand for certified timber.

And much more...

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Lessons Learned and Recommendations from Early UNFCCC REDD+ Reference Levels Submissions

2016-11-03Thu, 03 Nov 2016 00:00:00 +0000

(image) Produced in partnership with Environmental Defense Fund, International Union for the Conservation of Nature, The Nature Conservancy, and Union of Concerned Scientists, this paper presents lessons learned and best practice recommendations from an unprecedented workshop convening of two groups of experts: 
  1. those from REDD+ countries who were involved in creating FRLs/FRELs, and 
  2. those who had served as members of the Technical Team of Experts performing technical analysis of REDD+ results.

Forest Reference Levels/Forest Reference Emissions Levels (FRLs/FRELs) are critical to the policy framework for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD+), and provide the benchmark against which countries measure their results from REDD+ implementation. FRLs/FRELs are still incipient, and REDD+ countries and technical assessors are still in a learning-by-doing process, generating valuable lessons that are worth sharing.

Read and download the full report via the link to the right.

Media Files:

Businesses risk timber resource crunch if they fail to move to sustainable practices

2016-08-09Tue, 09 Aug 2016 00:00:00 +0000

London: A new report commissioned by WWF today finds that businesses must invest in sustainable forest management if they are to guarantee access to timber that they rely on in the near future. Leading countries that supply timber are either at the point of expiry or running at a deficit as forest resources are used without adequate provision for sustainable timber supply. However, the report highlights key benefits that will make the case for businesses to switch more rapidly to sustainable sourcing. These include:advantages in regulatory positioningeasier raising of financeadded brand valuea more engaged workforceIt also gives manufacturers maximum scope for product development and provides retailers with a full range of tradable goods. These benefits can increase performance of the timber industry as a whole and ultimately aid the bottom line of all companies involved.As the international market for timber will change in its dynamics in the next decades, without urgent action businesses which have failed to adequately plan for continuity of their timber resource could be left exposed with fewer commercial options. The implications are far reaching with WWF's Living Forests report series concluding that global demand for timber is expected to triple by 2050 due to an increase in demand of wood and paper products from growing economies and populations. At the same time this report's analysis indicates that:Brazil has only 16 years of timber forests remaining, South Africa 7 years, Colombia 12 years, Mexico 9 years, Nigeria 11 years, Thailand 9 years and Pakistan 10 years.Primary forest is being depleted at an alarming rate in many forested countries, the most extreme examples being Nigeria, losing 99% of primary forest, and Vietnam 80% since 1990 – a loss of almost 2 million hectares in these two countries alone. This has a huge impact on the biodiversity and other important forest ecosystem functions.In the UK by 2050 less than 22% of the timber will originate from Britain.The report also sets out how sourcing timber from sustainably managed forests will help protect the natural environment as forests not only provide timber but also supply a range of ecosystem services, such as carbon sequestration, water provision, flood prevention, erosion control and biodiversity. Securing long-term supply of timber from sustainably managed forests will help protect wildlife and ecosystem functions residing in these forests, as well as assisting in securing wider social benefits, and is also a contributor to the bottom line of businesses utilising timber as a resource, which currently is as yet widely unaccounted for as a benefit, only as a cost. Julia Young, Global Forest & Trade Network Manager for WWF-UK commented: "Committing to sustainable timber sourcing isn't just an added bonus, but is something that any timber dependent business must be investing in if they want a healthy and resilient business that will survive. This report sets out important areas in business functions where benefits are likely to accrue, but are not accounted for when making decisions about the overall cost benefit of sustainable sourcing. We can no longer rely on our usual sources of timber as unsustainable practices are having devastating consequences on forests, and we face a real danger of not having enough timber to satisfy our growing population needs. "Businesses need to review how their timber is sourced if they want to secure supply for the future, and in keep timber prices stable. This will have tangible business benefits of sustainable practices including advantages in regulatory positioning, easier raising of finance, brand value and an engaged workforce. It also gives manufacturers maximum scope for product development and provides retailers with a full range of tradable goods. These business benefits can increase performance and ultimately aid the bottom line."For further information, please[...]

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Conserving Forests to Combat Climate Change

2016-07-18Mon, 18 Jul 2016 00:00:00 +0000

(image) In December 2015, the Paris Agreement recognized the critical role of forests in combating climate change.  This recognition included actions to halt and reverse the rate of deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries, which have contributed up to 20 percent of annual greenhouse gas emissions. 

To assist countries in these actions, the agreement includes a framework of policies and incentives for reducing deforestation and forest degradation and increasing carbon storage in forests through conservation and sustainable management. This is known as REDD+, a mechanism that has evolved over a decade of discussions, research, and negotiations to become a key piece of the newly adopted climate architecture.

The aim of REDD+ is to halt and reverse forest cover and carbon loss in developing countries by helping countries shift to low-emissions development pathways by increasing the value of healthy forests relative to other land uses. Achieving and sustaining the objectives of REDD+ requires the transformation of economic activities within and outside of forests, often referred to as the drivers of deforestation and forest degradation.

A solid understanding of REDD+ and the Paris Agreement is needed to accomplish these economic transformations and conserve forests as natural places, carbon stocks, and sustainable resources. This paper describes what REDD+ is, in a manner that is accessible to policy makers, scientists and civil society and in a form that is completely consistent with the UNFCCC decisions and agreements.

Download the full report via the link on the right.

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BROCHURE: The Journey Towards Sustainable Palm oil in India

2016-06-16Thu, 16 Jun 2016 00:00:00 +0000

(image) Palm oil is a common ingredient in a wide range of consumer good products found in India.

However, the use of this vegetable oil is linked to global warming and to the loss of some of the most fragile tropical rainforests.

How can Indian companies be part of the solution and ensure they have access to a supply of sustainable palm oil well into the future?

Media Files:

WWF report: Slow Road to Sustainability

2016-06-14Tue, 14 Jun 2016 00:00:00 +0000

(image) New WWF research shows that only a handful of leading consumer goods companies and retailers have taken meaningful action to source sustainably produced soft commodities derived from forestry, farming and fisheries despite commitments. 
The report "Slow Road to Sustainability": Sourcing Soft Commodities by Consumer Goods Forum Members - Report on Progress - reviews the policies and performance of the 256 brand manufacturer and retailer members of the CGF, representing combined annual sales of more than US$ 3.5 trillion globally. Given their number, size and diversity, CGF members constitute a meaningful sample for analysis on sourcing practices related to the 14 commodities WWF has prioritized for sustainable production because of their potential to contribute to deforestation, overfishing and water scarcity.
Analyzing annual reports, sustainability reports and websites, the report shows that a weighted average of just 14 per cent of relevant companies such as Kimberly-Clark, Waitrose, Unilever, Kao Corporation, Sofidel Group and Royal Ahold have made quantified time-bound commitments to source their required soft commodities such as palm oil, paper, soy, sugarcane or farmed fish according to the credible standards recommended by WWF.
Only 22 companies (or 9 per cent of those analyzed) have made quantified and time-bound commitments to source all or majority of the commodities needed for their business according to other credible certification standards. However, the details of some of the commitments remain imprecise, highlighting the broader issue of transparency. According to the report, only 42 per cent of the companies publish sustainability information in their annual report or a separate sustainability report.
WWF recognizes that companies alone cannot solve this global problem. All actors – including companies, governments, communities, consumers, financial institutions and NGOs – must recognize the impacts of commodity production and find ways to balance sustainable production with maintaining vital ecosystem services.   

WWF calls on member companies of the CGF, as well as non-member companies sourcing soft commodities, to commit publicly to source only credibly certified commodities for 100 per cent of their volume requirements by 2020. In addition, companies should publish quantified, time-bound action plans detailing how they will achieve their commitments. WWF also calls on the CGF Board to agree that all of its members will publish an annual sustainability report in 2018 at the latest, using Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) guidelines.   

Media Files:

Cascading use of wood products

2016-03-10Thu, 10 Mar 2016 00:00:00 +0000

Using wood more efficiently to meet projected demand for wood-based products in Europe should be at the heart of the European Commission's bioenergy strategy and circular economy, according to a new report.The report, Mapping Study on Cascading Use of Wood Products, commissioned by WWF and global packaging and paper group Mondi, looks at how regulation either hinders or promotes what is known as 'cascading use' of wood – prioritising value adding non-fuel uses so wood is burned for energy only after it has been used, re-used and recycled as a material first wherever possible."Demand for wood-based materials and energy is projected to increase threefold worldwide between 2010 and 2050. We urgently need to innovate and make more products from fewer resources to help reduce pressure on our forests", says Emmanuelle Neyroumande, Manager: Forest Product Consumption & Footprint at WWF International. "Cascading use of wood is the smart way to use a natural resource – putting it to good use before it is reused, recycled and finally burnt for energy. Taking wood straight from the forest and burning it just doesn't make sense if it can be used for other products first", says Peter Oswald, CEO Mondi Europe and International. The report's findings suggest the need for: a broadly accepted definition of cascading use among policymakers, researchers and industry; EU policy guidance that incentivises effective cascading use; as well as better integration and implementation of existing bio-energy and waste policies.At a national level, the analysis found that countries such as Finland and Germany had practices that promote cascading wood use and recycling; and that while others like Spain had advanced policies in place, these were challenged by poor integration with other policies. It also revealed that the need for cascading use was felt more acutely in countries with relative scarcity of wood resources, such as Germany, and more weakly in countries with a relative abundance, such as Poland.  In Germany, where 50% of the wood resource (recycled or virgin) is used for bioenergy, increasing demand could only be satisfied by imports, more cascading use or the expansion of the forest area from which wood can be harvested. We urge the European Commission to take the report's recommendations into account for the sustainable bioenergy policy up to 2030 and as they take forward activities related to the circular economy. We believe the Commission needs to provide guidance to the Member States on how best to integrate cascading use of wood into relevant national policies. The European Commission consultation on a sustainable post-2020 bioenergy strategy is now open until 10 May 2016.                                                                        ###The full and summary Mapping Study on Cascading Use of Wood Products report can be accessed here: (full report) (executive summary) Notes:WWF has published a position paper, which states that "Cascading use of biomass as well as combined heat and power production need to be incentivised where appropriate" (WWF 2012). Mondi has a similar position, aligned to the one of CEPI, which is to "Place the cascading use principle at the core of its climate and energy policy, with a view to ensure the most efficient use of the available biomass, in particular to co[...]

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WWF Forest Sector Transformation FY15 Annual Review

2016-02-25Thu, 25 Feb 2016 00:00:00 +0000

Humanity is likely to use more wood and other forest products in more ways as the future unfolds. A transformed forest sector could ensure this is good news for the planet and people living in or near forests.This transformation would protect vulnerable forests from illegal logging, encroachment or conversion. It would consign bad practices to the history books – no more plantations that displace communities or take away their livelihoods; no more dirty pulp mills; no more landfills full of paper fit for recycling.  Collaboration is at the core of this transformation – whether between those living and working in the same landscape or along international supply chains. The case of smallholders in Laos supplying certified rattan to supply Switzerland's largest supermarket chain is an example of both. The results described in this report are all due to WWF's collaborators – participants in its global platforms such as the Global Forest & Trade Network (GFTN) and New Generation Plantations (NGP), stakeholders in fora such as the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and The Forests Dialogue (TFD) and our many other forest sector partners ranging from global companies to the smallest community forest enterprises. In recent months, forests were elevated on the global agenda through their inclusion in the Paris Climate Deal and the endorsement of an ambitious and comprehensive forest target in the Sustainable Development Goals. Now more than ever, the forest sector has the opportunity to play a central role in the transition to a greener, more inclusive, "one planet" economy.Major highlightsYear in ReviewA look at WWF's most notable achievements in forest sector transformation between July 2013 and June 2014.Living Forests Report Chapter 5: Saving Forests at RiskWWF's latest analysis shows that  eleven places in the world – 10 of which are in the tropics – will account for over 80 per cent of forest loss globally by 2030.Plantations and peoplePlantations provide around 60 per cent of global commercial wood supply, and that volume is expected to rise as demand for wood and paper products increases. The New Generation Plantations (NGP) model shows that plantations, a contentious topic in many areas, can be more than just an efficient way of producing wood.Valuing responsible forestry through Climate Smart ForestryWell-managed forests have an important role to play in reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation. Now a practical methodology – known as RIL-C – has been developed for measuring and verifying GHG emissions reductions achieved through RIL practices. Monitoring paper giants APP and APRILA look at the companies' progress in FY15.Community forestry in Gabon opens economic pathways for localsThe first ever community forest attributed in Gabon is showing the way for responsible resource management, which, in addition to environmental benefits, yields attractive benefits for the community. Bringing together stakeholders to promote timber legalityThe Intersectoral Pact for Legal Timber in Colombia is aiming to bring about real change to curb illegal logging in a country where around 42 per cent of the total timber production is illegal.Smallholders and sustainabilityThe US timber industry is a good example of a growing trend of smallholders understanding the message of sustainability, and making an increasingly important contribution to global efforts.Big steps towards reduced footprintsConsumers rarely see the total environmental impact on water, air, climate and biodiversity of the products they buy. But that could be changing in Europe thanks to a new EU initiative. An increasing numbers of EU companies will soon be calculating the environme[...]

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Free, Prior and Informed Consent and REDD+: Guidelines and Resources

2014-01-13Mon, 13 Jan 2014 00:00:00 +0000

(image) This working paper presents resources and guidelines for the concept of free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) as related to REDD+.

It has been produced jointly by WWF-US's People and Conservation Programme and WWF's global Forest and Climate Programme (formerly the WWF Forest and Climate Initiative) as a working paper to invite comments and feedback. It was original drafted in June 2013 and is being publicly released with updated content in January 2014. Please send your comments to: 


Media Files:

The Growth of Soy: Impacts and Solutions

2014-01-13Mon, 13 Jan 2014 00:00:00 +0000

(image) The Growth of Soy: Impacts and Solutions, presents an overview of the soy industry and the issues around it. We outline the uses of soy, chart its extraordinary rate of growth, and present the data on where soy is produced and consumed. We explore those regions most at risk from the expansion of soy production, as well as discuss its other environmental and social impacts. Finally, and most crucially, we look at some possible solutions for reducing soy's footprint – and what you can do to help.

WWF believes that it is possible to produce soy without destroying forests and other important ecosystems. But this will require a concerted effort from many quarters: all along the soy value chain from producers to feed companies to manufacturers to retailers; from policymakers to financers to consumers.


If you downloaded the report from this page prior to February 5, please read our erratum and download the report again.

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Guía genérica para la identificación de altos valores de conservación

2013-12-19Thu, 19 Dec 2013 00:00:00 +0000

(image) Este documento no busca sustituir las guías y documentos de AVC existentes, si no ampliar el ámbito de aplicación del enfoque de AVC y proporcionar orientación basada en la experiencia práctica en el campo. 

En los últimos años ha habido una creciente preocupación entre los miembros de la Red de Recursos de AVC, profesionales y otras partes interesadas, en torno a que el enfoque de AVC no se ha aplicado de forma consistente en los diferentes sectores del uso de suelo o geografías. La identificación de valores dentro de un paisaje y un sitio específico debe basarse en una interpretación común de las definiciones de AVC, tal y como se indica en este documento.

Este documento está dirigido a asesores de AVC, en especial a los que trabajan sin el beneficio de las Interpretaciones Nacionales, para proporcionar orientación sobre la interpretación de las definiciones de AVC y su aplicación, con el objetivo de proporcionar un cierto grado de normalización en el uso del enfoque AVC.

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Common Guidance for the identification of High Conservation Values

2013-12-19Thu, 19 Dec 2013 00:00:00 +0000

(image) This document does not intend to completely replace the existing guidance, but it aims to widen the scope of use of HCV and to provide guidance based on practical field experience. In recent years there has been growing concern amongst members of the HCV Resource Network, HCV practitioners and other interested parties, that the HCV approach has not been applied consistently across different land use sectors or geographies. The identification of values within a specific landscape and site should be based on a common interpretation of the HCV definitions, as set out in this document.

This document is intended for HCV assessors, especially those working without the benefit of national interpretations, to provide guidance on interpreting the HCV definitions and their applications, with the goal of providing some degree of standardization in use of the HCV approach.

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REPORT: Palming off a National Park: Tracking Illegal Palm Oil Fruit in Riau, Sumatra

2013-07-02Tue, 02 Jul 2013 00:00:00 +0000

(image) The report presents analysis by WWF-Indonesia that shows how 2 the world's largest palm oil companies—Asian Agri and Wilmar—purchased palm oil fruit that was illegally grown within the boundaries of the Tesso Nilo Forest Complex, an area that includes Tesso Nilo National Park and surrounding forest concessions where it is illegal to plant palm oil.

Indonesia's Tesso Nilo National Park is one of the last safe havens for critically endangered Sumatran elephants and Sumatran tigers. With more than 4,000 plant species and many new ones yet to be discovered, this area in the Riau Province boasts the highest lowland forest plant biodiversity known to science.

The good news is that through WWF's analysis and engagement with Wilmar and Asian Agri, both companies have now taken measures to stop sourcing illegally produced fruit.

WWF's report is just the beginning. Ultimately, all companies buying palm oil should ask their suppliers about the entire chain of custody of the palm oil they purchase and confirm its legality.

As the recent fires in Sumatra have shown, the illegal destruction of forested areas and lack of enforcement of Indonesia's laws is a major issue. It should be noted, that some of these forest fires are within the Tesso Nilo National Park, indicating farmers are intending to expand their planted areas.

A version of this report in Indonesian can be found on the WWF-Indonesia website.

Media Files:

BROCHURE: The Journey Towards Sustainable Palm oil in China

2012-03-02Fri, 02 Mar 2012 00:00:00 +0000

Palm oil is a common ingredient in a considerable number of consumer good products found in China.

The bad news is that the use of this vegetable oil is linked to global warming and to the loss of some of the most fragile tropical rainforests on Earth.

How can Chinese companies be part of the solution and ensure they have access to a supply of sustainable palm oil well into the future?

Media Files:

REPORT: WWF Palm Oil Buyers' Scorecard 2011

2011-11-24Thu, 24 Nov 2011 00:00:00 +0000

The Palm Oil Buyers' Scorecard 2011 measures the performance of 132 major retailers and consumer goods manufacturers against 4 areas which show whether these companies are acting responsibly.

The Scorecard focuses on European companies, since they are leading the way in transforming the market for palm oil, and were the first to commit to the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO).

However, it also looks at other markets such as Australia and Japan where some progress is being made. We also compared the performance of some companies assessed in 2011 and in our previous Scorecard in 2009.

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GFTN 20th Anniversary Report

2011-09-26Mon, 26 Sep 2011 00:00:00 +0000

Celebrating 20 Years of Advancing Conservation through Responsible Forestry and Trade

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A Day in The Life of...Albertus Tjiu

2011-07-22Fri, 22 Jul 2011 00:00:00 +0000

Albertus Tjiu, EmailOrangutan researcher and project leader for Kapuas Hulu in WWF-Indonesia in West KalimantanFor those of you who have heard the touching story about the baby orangutan Baim who was led back into the lush Heart of Borneo he now calls home, this story is about what goes on behind the scenes. Meet Albertus Tjiu.Albertus, aged 39, is a man who has been dedicated to Orang-utan conservation since he joined WWF in 1996. After 15 years, his passion as an environmental activist continues.When Albertus first joined WWF, he was based in the field in Kapuas Hulu, a place around 700km from Pontianak, the capital city of West Kalimantan. He lived deep in the forest while helping a botanist and ecologist from LIPI (The Indonesian Institute of Sciences) to collect data from within Betung Kerihun National Park. According to Albertus, it was during his three years there that he fully grasped the importance of conservation as he was exposed to intact and dense forests and the incredible array of wildlife secure in their thriving habitat. He also got to know more about local communities who practice wise protection of the forest and all the forms of life within it.Albertus admits that in the beginning, he engaged in environmental activities as a hobby. He loved to spend time in the wild. Other than that, the work fit his academic background, which is in forest management with a focus on botanical science. As time passed, however, he realised that his work had become more than a mere job for him - the most rewarding part of his job was seeing how communities benefited from conservation work.Despite the bumpy roads and hours of travel on both land and river, Albertus claims the most difficult part of his job is not reaching his destinations, but ensuring the work being done benefits the people. This, he said, is really difficult, especially when dealing with stakeholders with different expectations. Rejection is part of the job, an inherent part of carrying out each task, especially since WWF's presence is often perceived to limit them.But, according to Albertus, the benefits outweigh the costs. One recent activity involved assisting a community to set up a microhydro power station in the Lung River area. Having a source of power dramatically improved the lives of community members. Before that, they were dependent on fossil-based fuel which, due to its high costs, was unaffordable for many. By gaining access to power, the Dayak Iban people living in longhouses near the Lung River have been able to do more, which has helped increase their income.As an example, the women used to weave only during the day. They could not do this everyday, since their main activity is paddy farming. However, since electricity was made available in the evening, the women could continue to work on weaving after returning from the paddy fields, resulting in the creation of more handicrafts to sell. The villagers realized that they needed to protect the forest in the upper stream area which provides a source for the microhydro power. This is a concrete contribution to the conservation effort. The use of fire wood decreased significantly as electricity replaced this traditional energy source for domestic use, such as cooking rice and boiling water. There was a period when the project had to stop for a while due to a lack of funding. Albertus recalls that this was indeed a challenging time, as commitments to work for WWF were tested. Instead of leaving, he took on a side job in multilevel marketing and achieved fairly good success. This created a dilemma when, in 200[...]

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WWF launches database of eco-rated paper products

2011-01-31Mon, 31 Jan 2011 00:00:00 +0000

WWF today launched a global benchmarking tool for pulp and paper products at PaperWorld in Frankfurt, Germany. Check Your Paper is an online database to help paper buyers find products with the lowest environmental impact. The tool rates the environmental quality of the paper-making process for a given product, including how well forests supplying fibre are managed, use of recycled fibre, fossil CO2 emissions, waste going to landfills and water pollution from mills. The fibre in all papers featured on the audited list on the website must come from known, legal sources.  Paper products posted on the official list have been audited by third-party certification bodies to ensure high credibility.Check Your Paper at the same time allows pulp and paper manufacturers to voluntarily rate and post their products' environmental impacts online. Makers of paper products including Arjo Wiggins, ITC Limited Paper Boards and Specialty Papers Division, Mondi, M-real, Lenzing Papier, SCA, Steinbeis Papier, Tullis Russell, and UPM are the first to disclose their selected papers' environmental profile at As of today, the Check Your Paper includes about 100 paper products with "good" or "excellent" environmental score listed in the coated and uncoated categories, such as copy papers and printing and writing papers. WWF invites other pulp and paper manufacturers to follow the example of these companies by communicating their products' environmental performance transparently. "We believe this new database will help paper buyers choose the most environmentally friendly papers on the market. WWF invites all paper buyers to check the tool before purchasing and encourage other paper-makers to join Check Your Paper," says Rodney Taylor, Forest Director, WWF International."Listing our products in Check Your Paper is an important step in our commitment to augmenting economic, environmental and societal capital and in making environmentally responsible products available to our customers and paper buyers." says P.N. Sridharr, ITC Limited, Paper Boards and Specialty Papers Division, India, one of the manufacturers that have posted their papers' environmental information on the database.  "Over the years SCA has been deeply involved in the development of publication papers with high environmental performance - TCF bleaching, FSC certification, good resource utilisation, small carbon footprint. It is very positive that paper customers now get access to an easy-to-use tool to guide them in their choice of an environmental-friendly paper, says Björn Lyngfelt, vice president communications SCA Forest Products, Sweden. Check Your Paper includes all the main pulp and paper categories, including coated and uncoated papers, newsprint, tissue, packaging and board papers, speciality papers and several types of pulp. Globally, paper consumption is on the rise, with an expected increase from the current rate of 400 million tons annually to 450-500 million tons by 2020.1 Without a higher standard of environmental performance across the industry, this level of consumption will leave an unacceptably large environmental impact on the planet. Poor practices such as reckless logging and indiscriminate expansion of pulpwood plantations damage fragile ecosystems and escalate social conflict. The pulp and paper industry's mills and factories are large users of energy and emitters of greenhouse gases, and many are also significant sources of water pollution and landfill waste.Check Your Paper provides a single pe[...]

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