Nicola Craig Hora, Manager, ESG Management Dpt, SINGTEX Group.
Forests are facing crisis
Every year up to 10 million hectares of forests worldwide are disappearing. The majority are classified as permanent losses because trees are being removed to accommodate other land use such as agriculture, mining, roads, and urban development. Since 2000 it’s been estimated that we have lost 11% of the world’s tree cover. Unlike other environmental trends the pandemic did not slow down deforestation and the amount of trees lost actually increased during 2020 according to the World Resources Institute.
Most of the world’s deforestation is happening to tropical rainforests. This is particularly concerning because rainforests hold the highest diversity of plants and animals. Deforestation is disturbing delicate ecosystems and putting thousands of species, including our own, at risk of extinction.
Our planet’s forests represent one of the biggest natural tools that we have to tackle Climate Change. Forests help regenerate the earth’s many natural systems. They play an essential part in climate regulation, they purify air, filter water, and create a nutrient rich environment for organisms to live. The most recent Special Report on Climate Change and Land from the IPCC concluded that “reducing deforestation and forest degradation rates represents one of the most effective and robust options for climate change mitigation” and stressed that it worked parallel with all the SDGs, not just Goal 15.
Trees that are cut down illegally or irresponsibly are making their ways into our lives by being made into various products including paper, wood furniture, building materials, and even clothing. We are unwittingly supporting bad practices through our purchasing behaviors, however there are small easy ways that we can all support change.
FSC™ | International Forest Certification Standard
Building strong partnerships is an essential part of protecting our forests - this is where organizations like the Forest Stewardship Council step-in. Since its founding in 1993, the FSC logo has grown into the most trusted mark of sustainable forestry. Only paper products made from responsible sources can receive the FSC stamp of approval. Currently it’s the world’s most extensive certified supply chain network and looks at responsible forestry holistically. Their stringent certification process looks at many areas including fair wages, work environment, community rights for those locally affected by logging practices, and biodiversity preservation.
Turn over any SINGTEX brochure and you will find the FSC mark guaranteeing that the paper is from responsible sources. Having third-party certifications helps us back up our words with action. It is a way for us to stay in-check and support organizations that are doing all they can to create better accountability around the world.
Protecting the world’s forest from more irreparable damages should be priority for all. Next time you are at the store comparing paper products flip and check if there is any information about the paper’s source. By working together as citizens, NGOs, governments and businesses we can built more resilient partnerships that protect our forests.