026_Global13_Insight_Forestry

Global 13

Global InsightSustainable Forestry The Rio Napo in the Ecuadorian Amazon, Rio Jivino in foreground and a road built by oil companies bringing colonists who cut the foreground forest  Brazil has managed to reduce its deforestation rates to the low- we need to address the demand for wood products and imple- est level since it started monitoring them 24 years ago. Ranum ment legal reforms to prevent the importation of illegally obtained of the Rainforest Foundation says: “Brazil’s successful approach timber,” he says. In Europe, the EU is to start implementing new includes improved forest governance, not reducing deforestation timber regulations from March, designed to keep illegal timber and measures to an isolated project-by-project approach. Brazil’s expe- products derived from it out of Europe. There is an urgent need rience has also shown that the best way to protect forests is by giv- for such regulation: in 2012, Greenpeace conducted an in-depth ing user rights to indigenous peoples and local communities, which investigation of Asia Pulp & Paper, one of the biggest plantation has proven to be more efficient than establishing protected areas.” owners in the world, and using DNA analysis found evidence of Ranum also points to Indonesia, which is trying to do the same. “There the company using wood from a protected tree species that found is a promising discussion at national level to reform the forest sector. A its way into paper products sold in developed countries by com- moratorium on new licences in intact natural forests was enacted two panies including American-owned fast food chain Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) and Tesco, a major UK supermarket chain. Sustainable forestry is perfectly possible, For consumers, there is a certification to look for that should ensure the products labelled are coming from sustainable forestry and it is practised in some places with sources. Duff recommends the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) great success. It allows people to exploit does not impact on the forest’s biodiversity, ecological or socialtrademark, which ensures that any timber harvested from a forest forests – for food or timber – without value. Equally important are looking out for palm oil hidden in products, paying attention to the provenance of forest products and destroying the biodiversity or ecology lobbying MPs for tougher regulations. Pursuing sustainable forestry can help the world tackle climate years ago, and may be extended. Indonesia needs to examine the legality change, conserve biodiversity, help indigenous peoples and en- of existing concessions, as well as extending the moratorium.” sure the long-term health of the planet. But such concerns risk Brazil’s success shows how important it is to have strong gov- being ignored by governments whose thinking tends to be short ernmental support for forest initiatives. However, Brazil has also term and tied to the electoral cycle. Says Chacko: “When it comes come under fire for proposed changes to its forest code that would down to it, countries just aren’t doing the maths. If they did, they allow greater levels of deforestation, as some landowners have would see the wisdom in funding climate solutions such as sus- been demanding. One danger of government regulation is that it tainable forestry rather than paying huge bills after climate ca- can be reversed. tastrophes strike.” Regulation is not just needed in forested countries, notes Leon- ard of the Climate Justice Programme. “In developed countries, Fiona Harvey is Environment Correspondent atThe Guardian 26 lwww.global-briefing.org first quarter 2013global


Global 13
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