“Can something as simple as barcoding enable Liberia to resume its timber trade while still protecting its forests? The system’s inventors at the British company Helveta call it “the world’s most advanced nationwide verification system for wood products.” Initially funded by USAID, the scheme has covered all the country’s commercial logged forests for the past two years.
Every tree in a forest with a logging concession must be tagged with a unique barcode. When that tree is cut, the action is recorded and new tags are attached to each log. Every log that turns up at a port has to be traceable back to a stump in a forest. It’s as simple and as foolproof as checking out at the supermarket, says Ivan Muir, the local boss of SGS, the Swiss specialists in forest certification systems who are in charge of making it happen. Muir also issues export permits for the timber — which mostly gets turned into furniture and paneling — and monitors royalty payments to the government.”
via By Barcoding Trees, Liberia Looks to Save its Rainforests by Fred Pearce: Yale Environment 360.
Corporate social responsability is significant and not just a feel good excecise. Read re LEGO corp steps to ensure compliance.
“In response to a campaign by Greenpeace asserting that packaging used for its iconic toy building blocks is contributing to deforestation in Indonesia, the LEGO Group on Thursday announced it is taking steps to reduce the environmental impact of its packaging materials and paper.
Denmark-based LEGO said its new policy includes three initiatives: reducing the amount of packaging materials used, using more recycled materials, and ensuring that non-recycled packaging materials are sourced sustainably (e.g. derived from forests and plantations certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).
“It is our intent that we will only source material from suppliers that are not involved in deforestation,” said Helle Sofie Kaspersen, Vice President Corporate Governance and Sustainability at the LEGO Group, in a statement.
The move means LEGO has effectively barred Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) from supplying its fiber, according to Greenpeace.
“[Lego has] confirmed that this means APP will not be able to supply the company,” wrote Andy Tait, Senior Campaign Advisor for Greenpeace UK, on the Greenpeace blog.
Greenpeace and other environmental groups have targeted APP due to its ongoing role in forest clearing on Sumatra. APP suppliers control tens of thousands of hectares of natural forest and peatlands on the Indonesian island. The area is key habitat for critically endangered Sumatran tigers and elephants. It is also home to some of the last traditional forest tribes in Indonesia.
APP has previously committed to phasing out sourcing of wood-pulp from natural forests, yet it has consistently failed to meet its targets for doing so. APP’s subsidiaries are also under investigation for illegal logging in the province of Riau. Damages are estimated in the tens of billions of dollars by Indonesia’s audit agency.”
via Lego banishes Asia Pulp & Paper due to deforestation link.
Why should we be so concerned about protecting the world’s remaining forests?
Forests have a vital role to play in the fight against climate change. They are the largest terrestrial store of carbon, and they provide ecosystem services such as protecting water quality and preventing soil erosion. They are also home to much of the world’s biodiversity. Logging and conversion to agriculture destroy natural habitat for wildlife and release large quantities of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Unfortunately, deforestation and degradation are continuing at an alarming rate. We lose more than 32 million acres of tropical forest each year — the equivalent of 36 football fields a minute.
Read the rest here.
via Planting the Trees of Life | OnEarth Magazine.
An excellent background story of Haiti, the situation there and the role of reforestation in the rebuilding of lives and some efforts for the recovery of Haiti .