Wood and construction companies in São Paolo – Brazil’s most industrialized and populous state – have committed to use only legal and certified wood, in a move which strongly supports WWF’s call for sustainable management of commercial forests in the Amazon basin.
The state consumes 16 per cent of the 16 million m3 of Amazonian timber produced annually in Brazil. The area of Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)-certified forests in China has passed the one million ha mark, and the most recent FSC certification is in WWF’s priority Amur-Heilong ecoregion.
In total, more than 110 million ha of forests are FSC-certified worldwide in 88 countries, representing seven percent of the world’s production forests, and generating sales worth US$20 billion.
In 2009, WWF became a founding member of the Water Footprint Network, a group of 50 partners committed to reducing impacts of crop and commodity production on the world’s most critical freshwater habitats. The network will standardize wise water use methods across business and set the standards for water standards, stewardship and disclosure.
Following on the successful halving of illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing in the Barents Sea, the Government of Norway has negotiated powerful terms for EU fishing fleets to access Arctic cod in Norwegian waters.
A major grouping of the world’s tuna industry representing half of canned tuna has, together with the marine science community and WWF, jointly founded the International Seafood Sustainability Foundation to achieve long-term conservation and wise use of tuna stocks, reduce bycatch and promote ecosystem health.
Prompted by a WWF report detailing the huge loss of juvenile yellowfin tuna as bycatch within skipjack tuna fisheries, the Government of the Philippines has drafted legislation to prevent this unnecessary destruction.
Overfishing of coral fish such as groupers and wrasse for consumption in Asian restaurants is a major threat.
In September 2008 a global ban ontributyltin (TBT) – one of the most toxic chemicals deliberately released into the sea - entered into force.
An international convention on the control of harmful anti-fouling systems obliges signatory countries to ensure no vessels using hull paints containing TBT and similar toxic chemicals go under their flags or call at their ports.
The launch of WWF’s seventh Living Planet Report (LPR) in 13 languages gained more than 1,800 media stories in 50 countries, from Nepal to Qatar, and from Malawi to China.
The core message – that we are continuing to use the Earth’s renewable resources at an unsustainable rate – warned that humanity is approaching an “ecological credit crunch” and the report outlined solutions for avoiding this.
Linking closely with concerns over the global financial crisis, the LPR was covered widely in the business media.
Following on the first-ever report on China’s Ecological Footprint, published mid-2008, WWF sponsored a high-level conference where top Chinese environmental and banking institutions confirmed the country’s commitment to address its environmental impact.
WWF is helping China’s banking sector develop environmentally sound lending policies.
A first analysis of sustainable banking in China, jointly issued by the Peoples’ Bank of China and WWF, highlights the potential for the financial services sector to channel investment to help the country transit towards sustainability.
Following the commitment to achieve zero net deforestation by 2020, announced at the World Conservation Congress, Paraguay has extended its Forest Conversion Moratorium by a further five years, and committed to compensate forest owners who maintain forest cover through payment for environment services.
Similarly, in February 2009 Argentina passed a new forest law to stop massive forest conversion to agriculture and implement payments for environmental services.
This would greatly benefit Argentina’s one million ha of Atlantic Forests, a WWF priority place shared with Paraguay and Brazil. Provincial zoning plans are being developed to identify which of Argentina’s 33 million ha of forest must be protected or managed sustainably.