Nearly half of the earth’s original forests have been lost; 10% of all forests have disappeared in only the last 25 years. Net forest loss remains at 7.3 million hectares (28,173 square miles) per year, equivalent to an area the size of Vermont, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts combined.
Indonesia, Mexico, Papua New Guinea and Brazil experienced the highest rate of forest loss from 2000 to 2005. In addition, in some countries in South East Asia, Africa and Latin America it is reported that up to 80% of all trees are cut illegally.
So what does this mean for North American wood and paper companies?
The US is the largest consumer of industrial timber, pulp and paper in the world. The US is also among the top destinations for imports of wood from areas where illegal logging and poor forest management are common, such as Indonesia, Malaysia and China (as a port of transshipment). Thus, the US market is critical to protecting forests worldwide.
The GFTN-North America
The GFTN-North America is affiliated with the Global Forest & Trade Network (GFTN), a WWF initiative to combat illegal and unsustainable logging by promoting responsible forest management of valuable and threatened forests in the Amazon, Amur-Heilong, Borneo, Sumatra, the Congo Basin, Mekong, and other areas where forests are threatened. GFTN assists companies in evaluating their procurement and implementing appropriate action plans to ensure sustainable supply.
GFTN-North America is one of nearly 30 regional Forest & Trade Networks worldwide spanning the Americas, Europe, Africa, and Asia Pacific under the Global Forest & Trade Network. 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. More than 370 companies are members of the Global Forest & Trade Network, including manufacturers, importers, distributors, retailers, forest owners and managers.
GFTN-North America assists major US and Canadian purchasers of wood and paper products in evaluating where their wood and paper comes from, and works with them to set tangible goals of phasing out illegal and unwanted sources, and to phase in wood and paper from sustainably managed forests.
WWF works with companies to adopt a “stepwise approach” to responsible purchasing that requires progression (from using unknown sources) through the following categories: known, licensed, controlled wood, in progress towards certification, and credibly certified. GFTN-North America also connects companies to other GFTNs around the world that can provide technical assistance and expertise needed for a company’s suppliers to pursue credible certification.
For more information, contact the manager or team.
GFTN Manager, Regional Coordinator
Tel: +1 202 495 4693
Manager, Paper Sector Engagement
+001 202 495 4225
Senior Program Officer, GFTN-NA
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