by Theo Stanley

Companies have long been promising they will eliminate deforestation from their supply chains. But as the latest Forest 500 report finds, voluntary progress has failed. Now is the time for governments to ramp up their efforts to address tropical deforestation, by introducing strong regulations.

The European Union (EU) currently has no legislation to ensure that companies source deforestation-free agricultural commodities. But the EU’s recent Action Plan on forests opens the door for a new law. …

Helen Bellfield

The message from the launch of the latest Forest 500 annual report couldn’t be clearer. Even as we hit 2020, the ambitious deadline set by many companies to remove deforestation from their supply chains, almost half of the most influential companies and financial institutions in these ‘forest-risk’ commodity supply chains do not have a public policy on deforestation.

This lack of progress is highlighted in the report’s key findings:

  • 140 (40%) of the most influential companies in forest-risk supply chains, including internet retailer Amazon, Dutch supermarket chain SPAR and luxury fashion group Capri Holdings, owner of Versace, Jimmy…

by James Hulse

Our natural world is under growing threat — from plastics in the ocean to the Australian bush fires. These threats often seem removed from the global economy — a world away from banking and finance. But three emerging initiatives in 2020 look set to bridge that gap, bringing nature into the spotlight for the financial world.

Kangaroo Island fire. Source: robdownunder via Flicker (Creative Commons License)

Why is nature important to investors?

All economic activity depends on natural assets — such as water, forests and clean air. Manufacturers must have access to water to build cars; the agriculture sector needs bees and other pollinators to grow crops without excessive costs.

These natural assets are increasingly being degraded by pressures such as pollution, deforestation and climate change. Financial institutions are in turn exposed to natural capital risks that affect the businesses that they invest in, lend to, or insure.

In 2020, for the first time, the World Economic Forum’s top five global risks were all environmental, including major biodiversity loss…

by Theo Stanley

Deforestation in Rio Branco, Acre, Brazil. Photo by CIFOR/CC BY-NC 2.0

As greenhouse gas concentrations reach record highs, delegates at the UN climate talks in Madrid (COP25) are discussing how to ramp up ambition on action on climate change. Today is Forest Day at COP25 and delegates should be looking at how forests can be part of their climate solution.

Protecting and restoring forests can contribute more than one-third of the total carbon dioxide mitigation required by 2030, to achieve the Paris Agreement’s pledge to keep temperatures below a two degree rise. But forests are often sidelined in international climate negotiations. …

by Theo Stanley

Where forest meets food. Source: Lisandro Luis Trarbach ©

For the last three years, the number of undernourished people has slowly grown. According to the FAO more than 820 million people are hungry today.

As we mark World Food Day, dedicated to addressing global food security, it is perhaps timely to ask what companies in forest-risk supply chains are doing to ensure that the delivery of zero hunger is sustainable — and deforestation-free.

High-profile commitments

At the United Nations Climate Action Summit in New York last month, some of the world’s largest food production companies came together to address the unfolding biodiversity, deforestation and climate crisis.

Nineteen companies…

The world is losing an area of forest the size of the UK each year, photo: Daniele Gidsicki via, creative commons licence

The 2019 New York Declaration on Forests Progress Assessment has a stark key message: efforts to address the drivers of deforestation have been inadequate to meet global climate and biodiversity targets. Not enough is being done.

This year’s Progress Assessment finds that the global rate of tree cover loss has increased by 43 percent since 2014, when governments, business and civil society came together to urge greater action to end deforestation in the New York Declaration on Forests. Tropical forest loss accounts for more than 90 percent of global deforestation.

Most of this forest is being lost in Latin America…

Aynur Mammadova and André Vasconcelos

Amazon herd, photo: Aynur Mammadova

The recent forest fires in the Amazon have focused attention on the Brazilian cattle industry and its global supply chains. Leather is an important export commodity for Brazil, with an average annual turnover of US $ 2 billion, and Italy is the second biggest market for Brazilian leather exports, after China. What are the Italian leather industry’s links to deforestation? And what can leather companies do to ensure they are not contributing to the deforestation in the Amazon?

The most recent satellite data show that deforestation has sharply increased in Brazil, with the current forest…

Helen Burley

Fire in the Brazilian Amazon, photo: Pedarilhosbr

Today, the NGO Amazon Watch has joined forces with Extinction Rebellion and the National Indigenous Association of Brazil to call for a day of global action for the Amazon.

The Amazon fires have provoked worldwide outrage, with much of this directed quite rightly at the Brazilian Government, and in particular the Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro. He has faced widespread condemnation at home and abroad for his attitude to the fires, with opinion poll ratings tumbling.

Both his rhetoric and his actions on the Amazon, urging deforestation in the name of development and undermining the land rights of indigenous…

Guest blog by Patrícia Cota Gomes and Luiz Brasi Filho, Imaflora

Photo: Andre GIovani

On the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, we invited Patrícia Cota Gomes and Luiz Brasi Filho from Brazilian NGO Imaflora to share their perspectives on the key role that indigenous peoples play in protecting forests and other native ecosystems; and to talk about their award-winning work that helps consumers identify and value sustainable forest products.

There are approximately 305 indigenous ethnic groups in Brazil who speak over 270 languages, as well as hundreds of quilombola and other communities who depend directly on forests and other native ecosystems…

The new Commission will need to pick up the baton on delivering the EU’s proposals on deforestation, photo: Thijs ter Haar via, creative commons licence

The European Union’s long-awaited Communication on Stepping up EU Action to Protect and Restore the World’s Forests brings a welcome dose of common sense in a world where satellite data showing evidence of deforestation is being questioned.

The plan sets out five priorities, with reducing the EU’s consumption footprint on land and encouraging the consumption of products from deforestation-free supply chains in the EU top of the list, and endorses a partnership approach between producer and consumer countries, business and civil society to deliver them.

Proposed actions include a multi-stakeholder dialogue with member states on deforestation, stronger standards and certification…

Global Canopy

Global Canopy is a tropical forest think tank working to demonstrate the scientific, political and business case for safeguarding forests.

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