In 2021, we could have nonetheless been coping with the tumultuous COVID-19 pandemic alongside a plethora of persistent points impacting our planet, individuals, and in the end, future. Nevertheless, not every thing was unhealthy, and in reality, there was fairly a bit of fine that got here out of 2021.
One of many largest wins in 2021 for the World Wildlife Fund was beginning a program known as Forests Ahead. That is an progressive company program for WWF that engages corporations around the globe to assist them cut back their forest footprint and help different on-the-ground actions—like forest restoration—to maintain forests thriving for individuals, nature, and local weather.
“Forests Ahead provides corporations alternatives to scale up motion on forests and confront a number of the largest threats dealing with our planet at the moment. And these actions will not be one-off options. They drive actual, lasting change that makes a tangible distinction in individuals’s lives and the well being of our pure world.” Kerry Cesareo, WWF Senior Vice President, Forests
The Forests Ahead program focuses on three essential pillars for engagement:
- Panorama Alternatives for Nature, Local weather, and Communities. For corporations looking for to reinforce the well being of forests, contribute to local weather options, and enhance group well-being, WWF supplies distinctive alternatives to help rigorous nature-based options in critically necessary forest landscapes around the globe to ship these advantages. Examples of those landscapes embody Brazil’s Atlantic Forest; Sabah, Malaysia; and the southeastern United States; amongst others.
- Accountable Provide Chains for the Future. WWF helps companies design and implement accountable provide chain methods for corporations with product or packaging sourcing that may affect forests.
- Improved Forest Administration. WWF works with companies that handle forests to implement methods that enhance these forests’ capability to maintain biodiversity, profit world local weather, and help native communities.
The Forests Ahead program affords an interactive map the place you may see the actions WWF and firms throughout the Forests Ahead program are taking.
Earlier than the Forests Ahead program started in June 2021, WWF ran the World Forest & Commerce Community (GFTN) for greater than twenty years. The Forests Ahead program builds on the successes of GFTN and affords extra alternatives for companies to proceed their successes. Past this, Forests Ahead engages a broader community of corporations by a wide range of sectors, together with these exterior the timber, pulp, and paper sectors.
Because it started, 5 of the world’s foremost corporations have signed on as Forests Ahead members in the USA. They embody HP Inc.; Worldwide Paper Firm; Kimberly-Clark; Lowe’s Firms, Inc.; and Williams-Sonoma, Inc. Past corporations in the USA, there have been a wide range of worldwide entities signing on like IKEA.
“Science issues. Planting bushes alone just isn’t sufficient to satisfy our Imaginative and prescient 2030 commitments to the well being of forests or local weather. We’re excited to be part of Forests Ahead to deepen our understanding and follow of integrating science into our decision-making and to implement options that ship optimistic outcomes for individuals and the planet.” Sophie Beckham, Chief Sustainability Officer, Worldwide Paper Firm
Forests Ahead affords common entry to WWF scientific consultants, peer-to-peer interactions, and alternatives to study necessary forest points and help public insurance policies that profit forests. Not solely is that this program having direct impacts on the forests themselves, however a key pillar is to proceed our mission of spreading schooling and guaranteeing that our forests and past will probably be protected for years to come back.
There has by no means been a extra pressing time to guard our forests. From timber, gas, and fiber to stabilizing our local weather and water provides, to offering habitats for greater than half of the world’s land-based species, the assets and companies forests present are invaluable – however undervalued.
Linda Walker, the Senior Director of Company Engagement for Forests at World Wildlife Fund mentioned, “They’re [forests are] disappearing at an alarming fee. In 2019 alone, the tropics misplaced greater than 29 million acres of tree cowl. That’s near 30 soccer fields’ value of bushes each single minute. It’s time for progressive, collaborative applications which can be backed by cutting-edge science and rooted in native communities to guard our forests and all who depend on them.”
It’s crucial that the method to defending our forests is all-encompassing. WWF desires to make sure that communities are being positively impacted and included in decision-making processes that affect their backyards. This can be a collaborative method between communities, WWF consultants, and firms needing to do good. Communities who’re educated of the realm, WWF consultants who’re educated concerning the science and greatest practices, and firms who’ve the capability and scale will come collectively to create choices that shield the forests and safeguard the longer term. The brand new Forests Ahead program is central to WWF’s mission to cease deforestation and forest degradation and shield biodiversity whereas selling sustainable livelihoods.
Past this, the Forests Ahead program opens up alternatives for tourism and deeper relationships inside communities. In 2018, WWF labored with the Busongora Joint Farmers Affiliation (BJFA) whose members stay adjoining to Rwenzori Mountains Nationwide Park in Uganda. With the help of WWF, the European Union, and the French Facility for World Surroundings, this group carried out a local-led tour known as the Rwenzori espresso expertise that introduced tourism into the realm, offered direct schooling to them, all whereas defending the group’s most useful useful resource: the setting round them.
“Communities are starting to understand that even when one has a nook store on a tourism route, they will even profit and that all of it will depend on the safety of the useful resource that the vacationers are coming for.” Isaac Masereka, a neighborhood vacationer information and member of BJFA
Because the Forests Ahead program begins to develop in recognition, scale, and in the end, affect, WWF hopes to convey 25 firms collectively by 2025. The intention is to affect greater than 370 million acres of forests by 2030. However that is only the start.
Concerning the creator: Madison Mitchell View all posts by Madison Mitchell
Maddy Mitchell is a Content material Advertising and marketing Advisor for WWF-Journey who desires to assist present a platform by which communities can develop and be taught collectively, really feel empowered in community-decision-making processes, and create applications and insurance policies that can permit locations and vacationers alike to thrive.