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Opportunity Issue 102

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Opportunity magazine is a niche business-to-business publication that explores various investment opportunities within Southern Africa’s economic sectors. The publication is endorsed by the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SACCI).

Protecting the world’s

Protecting the world’s forests Transformation of the forestry sector is one of the WWF’s key priorities. Geran de Klerk on Unsplash Demand for land, food, energy and timber products is putting ever-increasing pressure on forests and the people that depend on them. Even with increased recycling, reuse and efficiency, the amount of wood taken from forests and plantations each year may need to triple by 2050 if the current trend continues. The resources and services forests provide are invaluable – and undervalued. More than ever, innovative solutions and action are needed to ensure that forests continue to provide critical ecosystem services while meeting the growing demands of humanity. Sustainability, a shared priority Saving our forests must be a shared global priority. Although progress has been made to implement global sustainability commitments, action is still lagging behind. WWF works around the globe with companies, governments, investors, civil society associations, Indigenous People and local communities to conserve forests, from advocating for protected areas and responsible forest management and trade, to restoring forests and halting deforestation and forest degradation. Through engagement on the ground, innovation, sharing and advocacy, WWF aims to drive sustainable production at a time when nature and the services and resources it provides are under unrelenting pressures. A better future for forests Forests Forward advocates for a transformed forest sector that values forests. Forests Forward aims to ensure that the world’s growing demand for wood can be met through sustainable forest management, including a new generation of well-managed plantations. But WWF also wants to highlight, maintain and enhance the many other services that forests provide. Working on the ground in forests of different types, Forests Forward brings in science, policy, businesses and communities to identify, support, scale and demonstrate sustainable solutions and drive change: • demonstrating how well-managed forests benefit people and nature • making the case for investment in improved forest management and credible certification • improving and increasing global trade connections for wood products from well-managed forests • connecting supply chains to landscapes and initiatives to strengthen their sustainability • supporting sustainable livelihoods for people living and working in forest landscapes. Partnerships play a key role in WWF's efforts to influence the course of conservation. Among WWF´s partnership approaches are engagements with businesses that have the greatest potential to reduce the most pressing threats to the diversity of life on earth and together find solutions to conservation challenges such as deforestation, forest deterioration and degradation, food and water scarcity and climate change. As part of our goal to transform the global forest sector, WWF engages with a number of companies. These include: • IKEA, to promote responsible forest management, good governance and transparency in timber product trade. • The Mondi Group, to promote environmental stewardship in the packaging and paper sector. • HP Inc, to address the impacts on forests from printing with HP printers. Together, WWF and HP are restoring, protecting 70 |

SUSTAINABILITY and improving the management of nearly one-million acres of forest landscapes. The changes we want to see in the world can only come about through the efforts of many actors. WWF engages with innovative companies and organisations that are making sustainability a top priority. Pulp and paper As one of the largest industrial sectors in the world, the pulp and paper industry has a significant impact on forests globally. Every year, around 405-million tons of paper and paperboard are produced, which is roughly 13-15% of total wood consumption. With demand for paper products increasing, global production could double by 2050. Paper production has a significant footprint on the environment. The sector is the fourth-largest industry when it comes to energy consumption, and paper production requires a significant amount of water, depending on the efficiency of the mill, and uses more water than other industries such as steel and petrol. Unsustainable paper production and consumption contributes to deforestation and natural ecosystem degradation in some of the world’s most ecologically important places such as Indonesia and Greater Mekong and to a lesser extent Latin America. It can also exacerbate social conflicts, as non-responsible practices are still widespread in several countries. The production of pulp, paper and packaging has undeniable benefits which should not be ignored, such as economic development, improvement in infrastructure and job generation. But it must be sustainable and shift to a low-impact production and consumption model that integrates responsible management of plantations and other natural and semi-natural productive forests, pulp and paper processing, conservation, restoration and leads to improved livelihoods. Responsible pulp, paper and packaging operations can bring many benefits to forests, local economies and people, particularly in rural areas. WWF aims to ensure that the sector is not driving deforestation or biodiversity loss, that it protects and restores natural ecosystems, invests in sustainable forest landscapes, contributes to local economic and social development, and takes action that shifts supply chains and markets towards sustainability. Through its impact-focused programme Forests Forward, WWF engages companies that are willing to source responsibly and drive positive change for the environment and people. Together with other NGOs, WWF is also closely monitoring the paper industry to ensure that the sector is overall improving its performance. THE FOREST CRISIS IN NUMBERS 1/2: forests are home to almost half the species on land 1-billion: people live in and around forests 10-million: hectares of forest is destroyed every year 40%: of the world’s forest destroyed by human impacts Credit: WWF Forests Forward A better future for forests WWF has a long history of engaging with forest owners, managers and timber markets on responsible forest management, promoting a new generation of sustainable timber plantations, restoring forest landscapes and supporting forest-based interventions for wildlife, fresh water, climate and people. But despite many successes achieved over the past years, global action is still lagging behind. Forests Forward is the evolution of the work that has been done through the Global Forest & Trade Network (GFTN) and New Generation Plantations Platform (NGP). At the heart of Forests Forward is a desire to demonstrate the full value of forests, not just for the wood they supply but for the many other benefits they provide. Through Forests Forward, businesses, communities, governments, financial institutions and civil society organisations with stakes in forests and key landscapes are coming together to act for change. ABOUT WWF All around the world, people are waking up to the deepening crisis of nature loss. We’re experiencing a growing realisation that nature is our life-support system and that no one will be spared from the impacts of its loss. At WWF, an independent conservation organisation active in nearly 100 countries, we are working to sustain the natural world for the benefit of people and wildlife. We are part of a growing coalition calling on world leaders to set nature on the path to recovery by 2030 – a New Deal for Nature and People as comprehensive as the global climate deal. Working with many others – from individuals and communities to business and government – WWF urgently seeks to protect and restore natural habitats, stop the mass extinction of wildlife and make the way we produce and consume sustainable. Website: | 71

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