The snack food industry has been singled out for its use of palm oil, which is a major contributor to deforestation.

Many companies around the world have made zero deforestation commitments, which include eradicating palm oil from within their supply chain. However, with the oil being such a key ingredient within many packaged foods, the snack food industry more than any other needs to ensure its products are not fuelling deforestation.

Rainforest Action Network (RAN) has targeted firms that are yet to take action on the issue of deforestation by urging them to enact strong palm oil procurement policies. Their current failure to do so, the organisation says, is allowing for social and environmental violations to spread around the world.

Palm oil production is a major contributor to deforestation, with trees felled to create room for the planting of oil palms, which in turn is leading to increased greenhouse gas emissions, soil erosion and biodiversity loss, which is why firms such as Greenwood Management support campaigns that attempt to tackle this issue. It is a particular problem in South-East Asia.

However, not only does it contribute to deforestation and thus climate change, but palm oil production has had a string of ethical failings in its past. These include using child labour and encroaching on holy lands or lands used by indigenous tribes.

Gemma Tillack, agribusiness campaign director for RAN, commented: “As palm oil plantations continue to spread across Indonesia, Malaysia and beyond to Africa, Papua New Guinea and Latin America, endangered rainforests are falling faster than ever and systematic abuse of communities and workers’ rights remains rife throughout the industry.”

The food companies targeted in RAN’s latest message include Kraft Foods Group, Nissin Foods, Hillshire Brands, Heinz, Campbell Soup, Hormel and PepsiCo.

RAN is calling for these companies to be “leaders not laggards” in the fight against deforestation.

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Fresh fears have been raised about the pace of deforestation after claims surfaced that an area of forest the size of India could be lost by 2050.

A report by the Center for Global Development (CGD) has predicted that 289 million hectares of tropical forest will be lost in the next 35 years. It has unsurprisingly triggered renewed calls for a much closer monitoring of deforestation combined with far sterner punishments for those found guilty of illegal logging.

The CGD’s forecasts come after the US organisation studied satellite images from 100 nations. As well as losing an India-sized area of forest by the middle of the century, scientists Jonah Busch and Jens Engelmann have also predicted that mankind will burn through a sixth of its remaining carbon budget by 2050.

If the current rate of deforestation continues then this will add 169 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere over the next 35 years, the researchers say. As the world leaders prepare to meet at the UN climate change event in Paris later this year, it is expected that they will agree to keeping global temperature rises below 2 degrees centigrade – the amount of CO2 added to the atmosphere through deforestation would take the planet close to the limit by itself, without accounting for all the other types of carbon emissions.

The report states: “In light of new data and a new understanding of the dynamic trajectory of forest loss, we have undertaken new projections of future pan-tropical forest loss in scenarios with and without carbon pricing policies.

“Our model projected that future business-as-usual tropical deforestation will rise rather than fall as projected by previous models, resulting in an area of forest loss the size of India over the next 35 years.”

The scientists urged that the Paris climate agreement must therefore focus on “providing funding and other resources to stop tropical deforestation”.

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Boreal forests have been thrust into the limelight this month after researchers have said that this specific type of woodland is at risk of being wiped up as a result of climate change.

A team of researchers came together from the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), Natural Resources Canada, and the University of Helsinki in Finland to examine the health of the world’s boreal forests. The findings, which were published in the journal Science, were far from positive.

Boreal forests account for almost a third (30 per cent) of the planet’s forest cover. However, rising temperatures are posing a serious threat to these trees and thus the report calls upon governments to transition to adaptive forest management so as to secure future sustainable development of these natural resources.

“Although most of the boreal forests have retained the resilience to cope with current disturbances, projected environmental changes of unprecedented speed and amplitude pose a substantial threat to their health,” the scientists said.

The researchers found that boreal forests are unable to migrate to cooler climates in the north at a fast enough rate to escape the rising temperatures in their current areas – the boreal ecosystem exists in the subarctic climate in the Northern Hemisphere, such as northern most Europe, Asia and North America. Indeed, various studies on boreal forests have now shown that climate zones in these areas are moving northwards as much as 10 times faster than the trees’ ability to migrate.

IPPC – integrated pollution prevention and control, which is a directive of the European Union – has created a worse case scenario in which temperatures in the arctic and boreal domains could warm at the average rate of 0.5 degrees centigrade per decade, and may further warm up by anywhere between six and 11 degrees centigrade over vast northern regions by 2100. This could render a large proportion of the land on which the boreal forests can be found as uninhabitable for these trees.

With boreal forests making up so much the Earth’s total tree cover – therefore playing a major role in depleting the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere – it is paramount that they are protected. Reviewing governments’ forestry management techniques in the areas where these forests grow will be of utmost importance, the researchers say.

IIASA ecosystems services and management programme researcher Anatoly Shvidenko commented that there was still some uncertainty of what effect warmer climates would have on boreal forests. “These forests evolved under cold conditions, and we do not know enough about the impacts of warming on their resilience and buffering capacity,” he explained.

The joint report has called for constant monitoring and research to continuously assess the state of boreal forests and improve the understanding of feedbacks and interactions in order to decrease the risk of catastrophic tipping points, where the forests switch from being a net sink for CO2 to a major source of increased greenhouse gas emissions.

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The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) is being urged by industry to build upon the good work it has already done and do even more to tackle deforestation around the globe.

Major companies such as Unilever, Mars, McDonald’s and Dunkin’ Donuts have all raised the bar when it comes to committing to zero deforestation in their supply chain. They are now calling on The RSPO to take its initiatives surrounding palm oil production further in order to protect the world’s forests, which is something that Greenwood Management would also fully endorse.

Palm oil production is a major contributor to deforestation, with trees felled to create room for the planting of oil palms, which in turn is leading to increased greenhouse gas emissions, soil erosion and biodiversity loss.

A decade ago, the RSPO established standards to encourage companies to protect valuable areas of rainforest. It has been successful and, as Business Green recently reported, “it has often been held up by its supporters as evidence of the way in which sustainable supply chain initiatives can deliver environmental improvements on the ground”.

However, despite the progress that has been made regarding the demand for palm oil, which is used widely in food production, it is still a major cause of deforestation, particularly in South East Asia and Africa. Moreover, with the aforementioned companies setting new, higher standards of zero deforestation, the RSPO seal of approval on products containing palm oil – which signifies that it is not contributing to deforestation – is looking outdated.

The RSPO has responded by creating RSPO Next, which purportedly aims to recognise those companies making strides in completely eliminating deforestation from their supply chains. To meet the standards, companies must fulfil the following six criteria: no deforestation, no fire, no planting on peat, reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, respect for human rights and transparency.

The question now remains if RSPO Next has gone far enough to ensure companies commit to deforestation and whether or not it will be strictly enforced.

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A major wealth fund manager in Norway has opted to take its money out of Asian companies due to their lack of commitment towards zero deforestation.

On Monday (17 August) it was announced that Norway’s $870 billion sovereign wealth fund would be divesting from four major Asian firms:: South Korean companies Daewoo International and Posco, and Malaysia’s Genting and IJM.

At the start of 2015, $270 million was invested in these four companies. Ethics advisors to the wealth fund investigated these businesses and found that they were contributing to deforestation, either directly or through their supply chain. Specifically, these companies stand accused of clearing tropical forest for palm oil plantations in Indonesia or Malaysia.

Palm oil remains a critical aspect of the battle against climate change; widely-used as an ingredient in processed food, palm oil is blamed for harming the environment due to deforestation as well as the fact that its production results an a huge rise in methane emission – methane is a greenhouse gas that is 34 times more potent than carbon dioxide.

More generally, of course, reducing deforestation remains of paramount importance to stop climate change. It is estimated that deforestation accounted for 10 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions between 2000 and 2009. This is why Greenwood Management supports the decision of the Norwegian health fund to divest from companies that have been proven to exacerbate this problem.

However, it is not just environmental issues that were raised; other ethical concerns surrounding the four companies that will now be without the Norwegian funds include labour rights abuses, such as employing child workers.

Norway’s sovereign wealth fund is officially known as the country’s Government Pension Fund Global. As of last year it held about one per cent of global stocks and bonds.

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Drought is one of the biggest threats to the world’s forests, with a new study finding that a shortage in rainfall can stunt tree growth for up to four years.

Princeton University examined data from the International Tree Ring Data Bank to chart tree growth and measure it against areas that had experienced drought. The researchers found that trees could take up to four years to return to normal growth rates in the aftermath of a severe drought.

This is a pressing issue because the world’s forests store half of all the carbon on the planet. If they are unable to grow, the amount they can absorb and store will be severely limited – a particularly pressing issue as climate change sees global temperatures rise and drought become more common. This is why Greenwood Management, along with many other companies, champions any research that highlights the importance of Earth’s forests.

One example the study uncovered was in Europe, where in 2003 a heatwave reduced the growth of trees and plants by 30 per cent. The results of the research, which were published in the journal Science, stated that on average, in the aftermath of a drought growth was nine per cent slower than expected during the first year of recovery and five per cent slower in the second year.

Lead author Dr William Anderegg, a researcher at Princeton University, explained: “One plausible scenario could be that drought killed off branches or even whole trees in that forest and that the remaining surviving trees were able to access more light and nutrients after drought, leading to higher growth rates.”

Speaking to Carbon Brief he added: “Droughts are projected to become more frequent and more severe with climate change. This implies that forests in many regions will spend more time recovering from drought and likely will be more vulnerable to drought-driven mortality.

“There’s a lot more work to be done here, but determining whether forests will continue to be carbon sinks in the coming decades or whether they could become a carbon source to the atmosphere, greatly accelerating climate change, is absolutely crucial.”

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Furniture giant IKEA has made a substantial forestry investment thought to be in the region of 100 million euros.

The Swedish company announced this past week that it has bought 33,600 hectares of forests in Romania, where it already has investment heavy in sustainable forestry. While the cost of this investment has not been revealed, market data available on the price of forest land in Romania suggests it could be around 100 million euros.

The woodland that has been bought is located in central and north-eastern Romania. It means that Romania is now the first country to house the full life cycle of an IKEA product; the furniture items are made from Romanian timber, manufactured in the country and then sold in the nation’s outlets.

IKEA’s acquisition not only demonstrates a commitment to sustainable forestry, which Greenwood Management fully endorses, but also the financial sense in forestry investments.

Frederik de Jong, chairman of the board at IRI Investments SRL, which is the IKEA subsidiary that manages this investment, commented: “The investment in woodland is a way for us to diversify our assets. We are happy to expand our forestry activities to Romania, a country that’s important for our furniture production.”

Violeta Nenita, operations manager of South East Europe purchasing at IKEA, added: “More than 14,000 people work for our suppliers in Romania, and the value of products purchased by IKEA Group in Romania rose to 400 million euros per year. We have over 15 years of collaboration with our existing suppliers, during which most of them have registered increased sales and have significantly improved their production capacities.”

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The pace of deforestation in India has reached a faster pace in the past year than it has in decades, according to one activist.

Eminent environment activist Rajendra Singh is well known in India, having carried out extensive work in water harvesting and water management, for which he won Ramon Magsaysay award in 2001. He has also been awarded the Stockholm Water Prize this year in recognition of his innovative water restoration efforts in Indian villages.

Mr Singh has alleged that since Narendra Modi became Indian Prime Minister in May 2014, the problem of deforestation has worsened in the country. Speaking at an afforestation programme organised by the Indian forest department, the activist stated that the past 12 months have been the worst for deforestation since the 1980s.

Specifically, Mr Singh says forest land that ought to be protected has instead been given to coal miners and thermal power projects. He added that areas of forest which had formed part of the Tadoba Tiger Project has been given to the Adani Group, an Indian multinational conglomerate company.

As India’s population and economy grows rapidly, protecting the nation’s forests is of utmost importance, and Greenwood Management supports any attempts to shed light on worrying deforestation practices.

Mr Singh issued a warning to the country, saying that the government’s current behaviour of giving off areas of forests to private companies, which they subsequently cut down for commercial reasons, illustrates how “insensitive” they are towards environment and our future.

Mr Singh, or ‘the water man’ as he is otherwise known, did however praise recent efforts to clean the Ganges.

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Food processing giant JBS has announced that it has made remarkable progress in its own battle to help prevent deforestation in the Amazon, but these claims have been questioned.

The Brazilian company publicly committed to not purchasing beef from any cattle ranchers that had been responsible in any way for deforestation in the Biome region of the Amazon rainforest. This month the firm has said that just four of 12,221 sales the company achieved in 2014 were connected with irresponsible cattle farms.

The pledge made from JBS came in response to Greenpeace’s 2009 report ‘Slaughtering the Amazon’, and the company’s sustainability director Marcio Nappo said: “We are very happy with the results of the audit. It shows that our suppliers monitoring system presented a 99.97 per cent level of assertiveness last year within a massive universe of procurement operations.”

However, Greenpeace wrote a blog that was published just one day after the audit results in which the organisation states that “the world’s biggest meat producer has failed to stick to its promises”. While the charity acknowledges that progress has been made and that these figure are positive, Greenpeace says JBS “hasn’t even got off the starting blocks”.

In particular, the blog says that JBS is guilty of continuing to shirk its own responsibilities and fully commit to eradicating all deforestation and “environmental crimes” from its supply chain. The article concludes: “JBS needs to stand up and stop driving Amazon destruction. If it doesn’t, more of its customers will find alternative suppliers and we will continue to expose its role in deforestation!”

Greenwood Management supports efforts such as those made by Greenpeace to hold companies to account and ensure that corporations take responsibility in the fight to protect the world’s forests.

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The World Wildlife Foundation (WWF) has praised the decision made by APRIL to eliminate deforestation from across its entire supply chain.

APRIL Group is one of the largest, most technologically advanced and efficient makers of pulp and paper products in the world. The company announced at the start of June to not undertake any new development on forested land or forested peatland.

The Indonesian firm also said that it has added High Carbon Stock (HCS) assessments to existing High Conservation Value (HCVF) assessments. APRIL will also look to strengthen its cooperation with NGOs and other conservation groups to ensure Indonesia’s rainforest does not fall victim to deforestation.

WWF has welcomed the updated Sustainable Forestry Management Plan, otherwise known as SFMP 2.0.

Dr Efransjah, CEO of WWF-Indonesia, commented: “The enhanced Sustainable Forest Management Policy announced today is APRIL’s response to longstanding calls to quit deforestation by civil society groups. WWF hopes APRIL can fully implement this commitment considering its potentially positive environment and social impacts.”

However, the conservation charity is also calling on APRIL to include more representation from civil society groups and to commission an independent review of its progress in implementation of SFMP 2.0.

Companies elsewhere in the world, such as Greenwood Management, are already working to support sustainable forestry and doing their part to reduce deforestation.

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A new study has found that zero-deforestation commitments made by large businesses could lead to an increase in anti-deforestation pledges by suppliers and ranchers within Brazil’s beef industry supply chain.

Published in the journal of Conservation Letters, the study has found that public agreements made by beef suppliers in Brazil have had a significant impact on the behaviour of ranchers and slaughterhouses within the Amazon.

Following the zero-deforestation promises made by large companies such as McDonald’s, Krispy Kreme and Dunkin Donuts, the research aimed to highlight the changes in behaviour caused by the rising awareness.

Lead research Holly Gibbs of the University of Wisconsin-Madison studied the data on land use within the state of Para before and after a 2009 agreement signed by a number of major meat packing companies and found that the deforestation rate among associated ranch owners has since reduced by half.

This particular agreement prompted change by imposing a moratorium on buying any cattle that could be linked to deforested land in Brazil, which has already sees around two thirds of its deforest land used for cattle pasture.

According to Gibbs, the success of such pledges has seen the agreements rise in popularity, with many large businesses now using them as an incentive to avoid bad publicity.

Many other companies, such as Greenwood Management, have already made launched similar policies to protect land from deforestation.

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International environmental forum Riau has found that Indonesia is still lacking in the required legal basis to support zero-deforestation commitments.

The Riau forum, which was attended by representatives of the Riau administration, NGOs and agroforestry companies, was used by many to urge Indonesian President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo and his administration to issue additional acts to provide a legal basis for zero-deforestation commitments currently not being met around the country.

One legal act quoted as holding back the fight for conservation was Law No.39/2014 on plantations, which requires palm oil companies to use all of their land to plant oil palms, which means they are unable to allocate any land for the purposes of conservation.

According to Tiur Rumondang of the Indonesian Business Council for Sustainable Development (IBCSD), who attended the forum, these regulations are against the commitments made by the government.

“For example, if a company decides not to plant palm oil trees in 10 per cent of its 10,000 hectares of permitted land to reduce carbon, then the 10 per cent will be taken back by the government because it considers it abandoned land,” she said.

Gary W. Dunning, executive director of The Forests Dialogue at Yale University, has also encouraged the Indonesian government to cooperated with NGOs and corporations to eradicate deforestation across the country, stating that such a move may be the strongest tool for fighting Indonesia’s illegal forestry industry.

Companies elsewhere in the world, such as Greenwood Management, are already working to support sustainable forestry and doing their part to reduce deforestation.

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The Environmental Finance Award of the Year 2015 in the Sustainable Forestry category has been awarded to climate fund Athelia for the projects developed in the natural protected areas in Peru.

Together with Peru’s National Service for Protected Areas (Sernanp) and the Peruvian Association for the Research and Comprehensive Development (AIDER), Althelia has completed projects aimed at preserving landscapes in the areas characterised by high biodiversity.

The first project was conducted between Althelia Ecosphere and Credit Suisse to issue “Nature Conservation Notes”, which are financial products for the conservation of nature. The notes allow investing in the market by subscribing “tickets”, after which the money is invested in REDD+ projects conducted in a number of national parks.

Such projects include forest conservation and the recovery of degraded soils and the development of sustainable organic agriculture, which can benefit local farmers and allow for the production of around 3,200 tons of cocoa.

According to Andina, the natural protected areas that currently exist around the world demonstrate the opportunities available to invest in conservation. These investment projects promote the sustainable use of these areas and mitigate any threats that could boost deforestation and harm the environment.

A number of companies including Greenwood Management have already pledged their support for such projects, helping to reduce deforestation and protect the environment.

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A new platform will provide vital near-real time information and analysis on growing threats to forests in the non-Brazilian Amazon.

Entitled the Monitoring of the Andean Amazon Project (MAAP), the initiative has been launched by the Amazon Conservation Association and Conservación Amazónica-ACCA to allow the public to view activities taking place in the world’s most diverse forest.

According to MAAP, the ultimate goal of the project is to publicly distribute all important information in as close to real time as possible to provide policy makers, society and the media with an easy-to-understand view of Amazon threats.

They continued: “We hope that sharing such information with these actors will contribute to changes in policy and practice that minimise future deforestation and promote conservation in the Andean Amazon.”

The platform is part of a growing number of forest monitoring tools that are currently being developed by civil groups such as Global Forest Watch, which has developed the largest of the deforestation platforms.

With the help of these new transparency tools, the organisations hope to help environmental groups, the media and the public to hold companies and governments accountable for their approach to forest management and conservation.

Many companies that have already pledged their support to forestry conservation, including Greenwood Management, will also benefit from the tools, which highlight those who are upholding their commitment to reducing deforestation.

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A team of citizen scientists have helped create a highly accurate map of global forest cover, allowing researchers to gain insight into deforestation and the world wide effects of deforestation.

Although there are currently a large number of sources of data available of forest distribution, many provide conflicting information, according to the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis.

The new maps rely on a combination of the latest multi sensory remote sensing data, statistics and crowdsourcing to provide a more accurate picture of the global effect of deforestation.

Commenting on the accuracy of the results, the lead author of the study said: “By combining different data sources, and incorporating the input of trained citizen scientists, we were able to produce new maps that are more accurate than any existing data source.”

As part of the study, the authors have created two brand new global forest maps that help create a clearer picture of the state of the world’s forests.

The first of the maps is a “best-guess” map that combines eight different data sources, relying on a network of citizen scientists to double-check land cover classifications by searching through high-resolution imagery of different locations.

The second map has been calibrated using regional and country-level forest statistics from the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), which has been revealed to be consistent with FAO statistics and highlights the countries containing the most dramatic data discrepancies.

These maps highlight the importance of global cooperation when it comes to forestry conservation. Companies such as Greenwood Management are already working to safeguard the world’s forests and reduce levels of deforestation across the globe.

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A new body aiming to develop a national forest certification system and formulate standards in India has been set up to promote “responsible” trade within the forestry sector for better management of Indian forestry resources.

The Network for Certification and Conservation of Forests (NCCF) is set to have representation from a number of stakeholders including government and industry names, and is expected to complete formulation of certification standards within one year.

According to NCCF, the certification body will create standards that reflect the “plurality” of the forests and the link they have with the people of India.

NCCF chairman K K Singh said: “Though India-specific, the national forest certification system and standards shall align with the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification’s globally-recognised sustainability benchmarks.”

Commenting on the new certification system, the NCCF stated that the idea behind the launch was to ensure that responsible forestry practice was encouraged throughout India, whilst ensuring that it is socially equitable, economically viable and environmentally friendly.

The system is also endorsed by the PEFC-International, who have stated that the national certification will have a “positive impact on forest management far beyond India”, particularly when taking into account the country’s position in international markets.

Elsewhere in the world, many other companies such as Greenwood Management have already pledged their support for the conservation of worldwide forests and the reduction in deforestation.

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The arrest of Brazil’s “king of deforestation” is set to help prompt a breakthrough in the effort to protect the Amazon rainforest.

Ezequiel Antônio Castanha was arrested in February along with 15 associates in what has been labelled as a major breakthrough for environmental enforcement and conservation in the Amazon rainforest.

According to environment ministry Ibama, Castanha and his gang were responsible for around 10 per cent of deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon last year.

Prosecutors are now requesting that Castanha be kept in protective custody throughout what is expected to be a long legal process to prevent him from reoffending.

According to Daniel Azeredo, the lead prosecutor in the case, there has never been an investigation that has uncovered such a large amount of land and money within one group.

He continued: “If he remains in prison, we expect a fall in deforestation rates. If he is released however, it is very likely that he will continue with the same activities, due to a sense of impunity and of course, because it is a very lucrative business.”

Castanha’s arrest has already had an impact on deforestation rates, with levels falling by 65 per cent since his arrest was warranted in August 2014.

Unlike Castanha’s forestry firms, Greenwood Management are devoted to protecting the forests through sustainable operations.

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The forest department in India has signed a deal to work with corporate houses, both private and public, to achieve 33 per cent green cover in Jharkhand by 2015.

The department had approached Tata Steel, Uranium Corporation of India, and Hindustan Copper to conduct a survey of their land and submit the status report by 31 March 2015.

According to Sanjeev Kumar, conservator of forest (working plan) in Jamshedpur, the aim for the project is to ensure that the region achieves its 33 per cent green cover goal, an aim established by the Tree Outside Forest Land (TOF) plan to promote green conservation on the land.

Mr Kumar continued: “To check REDD (reduced emissions from deforestation and degradation) and carbon sequestration (process of removing carbon from the atmosphere and depositing it in a reservoir) are the two guiding points of the working plan aimed at green conservation.”

As part of the conservation project, the corporate bodies have been asked to survey the available land, nature and status of the land in their command area and submit a report to the forest department before following up and taking action suggested by the results to boost green coverage and reduce deforestation.

Some companies such as Greenwood Management have already pledged to support to the fight against excessive deforestation in the world’s forests.

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Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) has openly welcomed the Rainforest Alliance independent evaluation of its Forest Conservation Policy, which concluded that the company has made moderate progress towards meeting its commitments towards a reduction in deforestation.

The Forest Conservation Policy was announced by the firm on 5 February 2013 and marked an immediate end to natural forest clearance by Asia Pulp & Paper’s pulpwood suppliers, as well as a range of other methods that are aimed at preventing deforestation.

According to the firm, engaging with the Rainforest Alliance has provided a valuable perspective on its climate change efforts and increases transparency within the industry.

Commenting on the evaluation, APP’s managing director of sustainability Aida Greenbury, said: “We’re pleased that the Rainforest Alliance has recognised the progress we are making. We believe today’s report shows that our efforts to achieve Zero Deforestation are on the right track.”

Following the evaluation, APP has pledged to improve the policy implementation measure and work hard on the areas that were marked by the Rainforest Alliance as requiring additional focus.

Ms Greenbury also highlighted the benefits of the evaluation in bringing to light the issues currently plaguing Indonesia’s forests, and called on other stakeholders to support the APP Zero Deforestation Policy.

Companies such as Greenwood Management have already pledged to support such causes and are working hard to safeguard forests against excessive deforestation.

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Former US vice president Al Gore has revealed a $90 trillion (£59.6 trillion) plan to cut deforestation to zero and eradicate the need for cars in the world’s cities.

Working with former president of Mexico Felipe Calderon and the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate, they argue that redesigning all of the world’s cities so people live in more densely packed neighbourhoods could save the planet.

Outlining their plan in Davos at the World Economic Forum this month, the pair claim that around $90 trillion is set to be spent on infrastructure investment in the coming years anyway.

Speaking to Business Insider, Mr Calderon said: “We cannot have these cities with low density, designed for the use of cars. We recommend those cities should have more density and more mass transportation.”

By reforming land use, Mr Calderon stated that it would be possible to bring deforestation down to zero, which would have a major impact on climate change around the world.

“The mistake we made in Mexico was to let cities develop however they want, and it’s a mess,” said Mr Calderon, who noted one of the key challenges would be to persuade city mayors that the new way of designing cities is beneficial for everyone.

According to the New Climate Economy, fewer than 500 cities are set to account for more than 60 per cent of global income growth and half of energy-related greenhouse gas emissions growth between now and 2030.

Companies such as Greenwood Management realise how important it is to protect the world’s forests and they are working together to ensure they are preserved and safeguarded against excessive levels of deforestation.

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