The World Economic Forum recently published research suggesting consumers in a few key emerging market producer countries (Indonesia and Brazil) and importing countries (China and India) together account for 40% of global consumption of the four commodities most associated with tropical deforestation—soy, beef, palm, and wood products. The authors project that by 2025 demand for these commodities within these four countries could increase by 43%, resulting in forest areas equivalent to the size of Nigeria being cut down every. Increasing demand for meat and calorie-rich foods, regulatory changes, and shifts in constraints for domestic production will all be key factors in fueling demand in these emerging market economies.
Many tropical forests around the world have been severely fragmented as human disturbance split once-contiguous forests into pieces. Previous research indicates trees on the edges of these fragments have higher mortality rates than trees growing in the interiors of forests. Researchers used satellite data and analysis software they developed to figure out how many forest fragments there are, and the extent of their edges. They discovered that there are around 50 million tropical forest fragments in the world today. When they calculated how much carbon is being released from tree death at these edges, they found a 31% increase from current tropical deforestation estimates.
Forest 500 identifies, ranks and tracks those who have the ability to eradicate tropical deforestation
A ranking of 50 governments, 250 companies, 150 investors and 50 other ‘power brokers’ aims to illustrate how the most influential parties are handling their own operations when it comes to controlling deforestation. Run by Oxford-based think tank, Global Canopy Programme, the Forest 500 highlights those leading - and those trailing – in addressing forestry issues. Six printing and publishing companies were featured – Bertelsmann, Pearson, R.R. Donnelley, News Corp, APG (subsidiary of Time Publishing & Media), and Advance Publications. Bertelsmann and Pearson both came out on top of the sector rankings. For more on the report and in-depth analysis visit their website.
Norway’s sovereign wealth fund will require companies in its portfolio to ‘to manage risk associated with the causes and impacts of climate change resulting from greenhouse gas emissions and tropical deforestation.’ The move comes after campaigners had targeted the fund for continuing to invest in companies associated with deforestation while the Norwegian government had committed $522 million to protecting the world’s forests. Questions considered in assessing company risk will include: disclosure on tropical forest footprint; commitment to international standards for sustainable production of agricultural commodities; and reporting on the implementation of its commitments.