4 November 2013, Istanbul, Turkey – The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) understands that reducing forest loss and degradation is a global societal priority requiring immediate and concerted action. It is critical we find ways to ensure that more of the world’s forests and plantations are sustainably managed and that forest products are used and reused wisely. When sustainably managed, forests generate ecosystems services that make life on earth possible (like fresh water and climate regulation), industrial fibre for a wide range of every day and essential products (from timber and paper to bioenergy), and economic development opportunities for local communities and commercial enterprises – now and into the future.
Forest certification is a voluntary, market-focused mechanism, which supports a broad range of social, economic and environmental benefits associated with sustainable forest management. It is of concern that, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), only 10% of the world’s forests are independently certified.
Led by 26 global companies along the forest products value chain responsible for nearly 40% of annual global forest, paper and packaging sales, the WBCSD Forest Solutions Group seeks to ensure that the supply of independently-verified sustainable wood and other forest products continues to increase to meet growing demand. To achieve this objective, all WBCSD companies involved in the Forest Solutions Group commit to:
- Work with stakeholders to spread sustainable forest management;
- Support and promote the expansion of forest certification;
- Set 2020 targets to increase the use of certification when sourcing forest products and fiber; and
- Grow markets for certified forest products.
The WBCSD also calls on all forest certification stakeholders to actively:
- Promote certification to forest owners and companies around the world to improve forest management practices with a priority focus on tropical forests;
- Fully utilize existing certification within their own programs, operations, supply chains, and investments; and
- Support approaches to sustainable development that include small forest owners, community forestry, indigenous peoples and agroforestry operators via forest certification and other tools.
We ask other stakeholders, including all WBCSD member companies that support the objectives of this statement, to lend their endorsement by contacting James Griffiths, Managing Director at the WBCSD (firstname.lastname@example.org) to explore active collaboration.