What WWF Does

Create relationships between producers and buyers

In addition, WWF looks for effective relationships between producers and buyers in the market, and encourages the concessionaires to improve their forest and business management. For example, WWF is setting up trade relations between Peruvian companies and foreign buyers and producers through its Global Forest & Trade Network (GFTN).

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Improve national forest governance

Government allocation of forest concessions can be a controversial process, and therefore needs to be highly transparent. Across the Amazon Basin, WWF continues its efforts to modernize the forest sector by replacing socially and economically unsustainable systems plagued by illegal harvesting with a system of forest concessions managed according to responsible forest management and operations plans. WWF supports efforts to reform this process where necessary.

For example, WWF-Peru is providing financial and technical support to reform Peru's forest concession bidding processes in the Peruvian Amazon. This has resulted in the allocation of 72,000 km² of permanent production forests (about the size of Ireland) to forest concessionaires for responsible management.

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Fight illegal logging

A well-documented scourge globally, illegal logging is thriving in Latin America. Through WWF's efforts, Peru has collaborated in the creation of a multi-sector commission against illegal logging, with the hope that it will mitigate the negative environmental, social and economic impacts associated with this illicit industry.

In recognition of Peru's efforts to improve forest environmental practices, WWF presented the government with a Gift to the Earth award in 2005, the organization’s highest accolade for major environmental achievements. This award also recognized the creation of Alto Purus National Park and Communal Reserve, efforts against illegal logging and an improved forest law.
Find out more about Gifts to the Earth

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 / ©: (c) WWF
Sustainable Forestry
© (c) WWF

Implement forest management tools

Interest in adopting good management practices has increased in the timber sector, due to various reasons:
  • Improves the image of the companies with buyers;
  • Improves the technical quality of forestry operations;
  • Provides the magnification of potential access to public forest areas (forest concessions) and
  • Reduces the cost of transactions in the analysis and approval of management plans.

WWF has engaged with leaders of the timber sector, researchers of the tropical forestry sector and a selected group of auditors for forest certification to advance the use of management tools such as the Modular Implementation and Verification Toolkit (MIV), a practical tool for the application of forest management standards and certification. Major stakeholders in the timber sector are already seeing MIV as a useful tool in forest management practices.

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Reduce slash and burn activities

Slash and burn activities are a common characteristic of tropical countries, where farmers set fire to forested areas to clear the land for pasture or crops.

But alternatives exist. In Brazil, WWF develops individual and community techniques for the control and pre-emption of traditional slash-and-burn activities and accidental forest fires in rural properties. Alternatives are also sought for agricultural practices that do not employ fire.

WWF-Brazil also monitors and influences government programmes and projects that address the problem of fires, to ensure they are efficient. Separately, it monitors, influences and proposes public policies in the fiscal sector, with a focus on technical assistance/credit systems that can effectively reduce slash and burn and forest fires.

Finally, where necessary, WWF proposes legal action against federal and state organizations and large landowners when they infringe the law.

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 / ©: WWF-Canon / Edward PARKER
Forest manager shows one of the management maps of the certified Amazon rainforest at Precious Woods near Manaus.
© WWF-Canon / Edward PARKER

Reduce the impacts of agriculture

To reduce the "ecological footprint" of soy cultivation on rainforests and other ecosystems, there is an urgent need for improvement and increased efficiency in the soy sector. WWF-Brazil's Agriculture and Environment Programme promotes agricultural production that considers environmental, social and economic aspects – for both big and small producers.

WWF has been instrumental in organizing the roundtable on responsible soy (RTRS), providing an arena for the soy industry to commit to improved practices. Through the RTRS, social and environmental organizations, producers, processors, and retailers set criteria for responsible production and decide how they can be implemented.

WWF is also:
  • Promoting the rotation of cattle-ranching and no-till agriculture to mitigate deforestation
  • Improving the traceability of products
  • Pushing for good environmental agriculture practices.

Part of these efforts involve developing Riparian and Legal Reserve Areas, to buffer the impacts of agriculture.

WWF asks the soy industries, from producers to retailers, to:

  • Acknowledge the problems related to the expansion of soy.
  • Join the roundtable process.
  • Begin a step-by-step approach to responsible production and/or procurement.

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