Markets Key to Saving World’s Forests



Posted on 20 October 2009  | 
Buenos Aires, Argentina – In an engaging dialogue Monday evening, WWF showcased its leading, innovative solutions—the Global Forest & Trade Network (GFTN) and New Generation Plantations Project, bringing together key stakeholders from the private sector, environmental community and government. The discourse demonstrated how the global marketplace can be harnessed as a key force to conserve the world’s valuable and threatened forests, while providing economic and social benefits for the businesses and people that depend on them.

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WWF believes companies in the forest sector can play a critical role in providing solutions to climate change through sustainable management of natural forests and plantations,” said Rodney Taylor, Director of WWF-International’s forest programme. “Five to ten years ago, the only way NGOs could get the attention of companies was to campaign against unsustainable business operations. But now we find that companies are self-motivated to act responsibly. On the producer side companies want to do good forestry and on the buyer side they view responsible purchasing as a means to secure a long-term supply of raw materials."

The evening gathered experts in industry and government to share their experiences and insights into how markets can advance responsible forestry and trade practices. Representatives from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Central African Forest Commission (COMIFAC) and State Forestry Administration of China shared how these market mechanisms are key to conserving the vital forests in their countries.

“WWF through GFTN has been instrumental in promoting responsible forest management in the Congo Basin, achieving credible certification for 4.7 million hectares since December 2005,” said Martin Tadoum, COMIFAC Deputy Executive Secretary.
Industry also recognized the vital role of responsible forest management and trade practices in their business operations, asserting that environmentally and socially responsible business practices not only benefit the world’s forests but also their commercial objectives.
“We view our commitment to responsible forestry and credible certification as a worthwhile investment. Sustainability and environmentally and socially responsible practices are good business for us,” said Savio C. K. Chow, President of Export, China Flooring Holding Co. Ltd.
“CMPC is pleased to participate in the New Generation Plantations Project and pledges its continued support and commitment to achieve the most successful results,” said Daniel Contesse,Vice President of CMPC's Forestry Operations.
Global Forest & Trade Network
GFTN is WWF’s initiative to eliminate illegal logging and drive improvements in forest management while transforming the global marketplace into a force for saving the world’s valuable and threatened forests. By facilitating trade links between companies committed to responsible forestry, the GFTN creates market conditions that help conserve forests while providing economic and social benefits for the businesses and people that depend on them. A growing network, GFTN is comprised of over 295 companies from across the forest products industry. Trading by GFTN Participants represents 16 per cent of every forest product bought or sold internationally, with combined annual sales of US$64 billion. For more information, visit gftn.panda.org.
New Generation Plantations Project
New Generation Plantations explores how plantations can support biodiversity conservation, benefit local communities and contribute to economic growth. The project presents a new perspective on plantations that involve meaningful consultations with stakeholders and consider how plantations fit within a wider conservation landscape. Through a constructive collaboration between industry, government and civil society, this project seeks to mainstream new generation plantations as the global norm, creating plantations which unequivocally help to maintain a “living planet” for future generations. For more information, visit panda.org/forestry/newgenplantations.

Contact: Betsy Hickman, GFTN Communications Manager, betsy.hickman@wwfus.org, +1 202 492-2464
WWF addresses the critical role that foerst companies play in providing solutions to climate change through responsible management of forests and plantations.
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