The European Commission set out a new framework of actions to protect and restore the world's forests, which addresses both the supply and demand side of forest products. It introduces measures for enhanced international cooperation with stakeholders and Member States, promotion of sustainable finance, better use of land and resources, sustainable job creation and supply chain management, and targeted research and data collection. It also launches an assessment of possible new regulatory measures to minimise the impact of EU consumption on deforestation and forest degradation.
Collected news links from external sources related to topics concerning the Book Chain Project.
Governments agree landmark decisions to protect people and planet from hazardous chemicals and waste, including plastic waste
Around 180 countries agreed to amend the Basel Convention at a meeting on 10th May 2019. The amendment means that plastic waste is now included within the legally-binding framework which will make global trade in plastic waste more transparent and better regulated, whilst also ensuring that it’s management is safer for human health and the environment.
Other far-reaching decisions included the elimination of two toxic chemical groups, which together total about 4,000 chemicals, listed into Annex A of the Stockholm Convention, namely Dicofol and Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA) and its salts and PFOA-related compounds.
The Accountability Framework initiative will organize a webinar to help people learn more about the framework. An overview of the Accountability Framework's principles and guidance related to setting commitments, taking action, and demonstrating progress will be presented.
The Accountability Framework is a set of common norms and guidance for establishing, implementing, and monitoring responsible supply chain commitments, aiming to help companies and others to set commitments, take action, demonstrate progress, and support broader positive impacts. The Accountability Framework initiative is led by a diverse group of civil society representatives including Forest People Program, Greenpeace, WRI, WWF, etc.
In order to help consumers make informed choices for safer products while increasing pressure to substitute substances of concern, ECHA is going to establish a new database on the presence of hazardous chemicals in articles by the end of 2019 for waste treatment operators and consumers. The database will comprise information submitted by companies producing, importing or selling articles that contain Candidate List substances. Companies need to submit this information by the end of 2020. The work is based on the revised waste framework directive that entered into force in July 2018. It is part of the EU’s waste legislation package, contributing to the EU's circular economy policy.
The Accountability Framework initiative (AFi) is a collaborative effort to accelerate progress and improve accountability for responsible supply chain commitments in agriculture and forestry. Recently, the initiative has released the first draft of their framework for improving accountability for responsible supply chain commitments in agriculture and forestry, including as set of the core principles & definitions, a practical operational guidance. The initiative is now preparing to expand on the principles in an operational manual, and they are inviting input and feedback from as many companies, government entities, non-profits, and other stakeholders as possible.
FSC is declaring its intention to more than double its share of global forest-based trade in the next five years to 20 per cent. The strategic plan was developed through consensus by the FSC International Board of Directors, and included extensive consultation with FSC staff, members, and stakeholders. The new FSC Global Strategic Plan 2015-2020 has an emphasis on increasing FSC certification in tropical countries, and providing a voice to those most affected by mismanaged forests – Indigenous Peoples, workers, communities, women, and smallholders - while meeting the needs of current certificate holders. The three strategies that make up the strategic plan are 1) Strengthen the FSC framework and governance, 2) Increase market value of FSC, and 3) Transform the way FSC works.
1. Zero deforestation commitments. 2015 may be the year that many of the zero deforestation commitments are actually implemented.
2. Joko Widodo’s forest commitments. As Indonesia’s new president takes on the challenge of reforming the forestry sector, look out for greater scrutiny of concession licensees, as well as a crack-down on forestry-related corruption.
3. The Brazilian Amazon. There are concerns that Brazil’s current downward deforestation trajectory may not last.
4. Will Paris product a binding climate framework? Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation is expected to have a central role in the climate talks in Paris at the end of the year.
5. Where are the new deforestation hotspots? Data from the WRI suggests that deforestation may be rising in several countries, including Cote d’Ivoire, DRC, Ecuador and Ghana amongst others. 2015 will also uncover new studies and tools that will help better quantify change in forest cover.
6. Falling commodity prices. Lower prices reduce the profitability of converting rainforests for palm oil plantations. On the other hand, companies may be less likely to adopt environmental measures if they have less cash on hand.
7. Myanmar. As Myanmar opens up further to foreign investors, concerns about the fate of the country’s forests will rise.
8. Dams in the Amazon. Indigenous groups and environmentalists are ready to fight against Brazil’s hydro projects in the Tapajos basin.
9. RSPO and zero deforestation. If the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) does move towards zero deforestation it has a critical tool in place to do so: last year members were required to submit the GPS coordinates of their concessions.
10. Jurisdictional initiatives. Sub-national efforts to develop forest-friendly policies and initiatives will move forward in 2015.
Recognising the severe impact illegal logging is having on tax revenue generation, the Lao government has launched a pilot program to track the source of timber from sawmills and wood-processing plants. Demand for the valuable hongmu (redwood) timber from neighbouring China is thought to be driving illegal logging in the country. The pilot program requires all logs in sawmills and wood-processing plants to be inspected before export and to lay a framework for documentation that they are derived from legal sources, according to the reports.
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) have joined forces to promote viable forestry investment and innovation in the Russian Federation's Far East based on sustainable use of forest resources. Improving legal frameworks and the inventory of forest resources; developing modern forestry infrastructures and supporting services, in particular railway transportation networks; introducing modern logging, as well as harvesting and wood-processing technologies; providing adequate training at local level; clearly designating and protecting forest areas of high biodiversity value are among the key Roadmap recommendations.
A new decree signed by the Indonesian president to create a national agency aimed at combating greenhouse gas emissions signals progress in the country’s efforts to tackle global warming, said a scientist with the Center for International Research.
The REDD+ (Reducing Emissions through Deforestation and Forest Degradation) agency, which will report directly to President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, fulfills one among several criteria detailed in a climate change partnership agreed in 2010 with Norway. Under the terms of the agreement outlined in a letter of intent, the two countries opened the door to developing policy on REDD+, a U.N.-backed framework for reducing emissions caused by deforestation and forest degradation.
The Forest Trust (TFT) has revealed that it is working with Asia Pulp and Paper (APP) on an overall framework for sustainability which includes and goes beyond legal compliance. TFT has previously worked successfully with Golden Agri Resources, Indonesia’s largest palm oil company which sits under the same ownership as APP. TFT plans to publish regular updates once it believes that APP is making significant progress.