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  • Archive for May, 2013

    A third of Myanmar forest cover at risk, reports WWF

    2013 - 05.15

    Recent revelations that Myanmar is at risk of losing a third of its forest cover over the course of the next 20 years, highlight the importance of implementing sustainable forestry practices across the globe immediately.

    Whilst firms such as Greenwood Management are already hard at work encouraging sustainable planting across the globe, more needs to be done to ensure that forests can bring benefits for the future.

    According to the recent report released by WWF, if current forestry practices continue, Myanmar is at risk of losing a huge chunk of its remaining natural forestry.

    The Greater Mekong Ecosystems Report was compiled using data from satellite imagery, and discovered a rise in the loss of forest in the area of around 15 per cent. This represents a fall in forest cover from 49 million hectares to just 42 million hectares, between 2002 and 2009.

    Peter Cutter, Landscape Conservation Manager with WWF-Greater Mekong, told Mizzima that the survey results were extremely concerning: “The Greater Mekong is at a crossroads. One path leads to further declines in biodiversity and livelihoods, but if natural resources are managed responsibly, this region can pursue a course that will secure a healthy and prosperous future for its people.”

    “Many protected areas exist in name only. Even relatively secure protected areas are under intense pressure from poaching and timber theft, while others have been reduced in size by governments eager to cash in on land concessions to mining companies or plantation owners,” Mr Cutter went on to say.

    Myanmar’s Ministry of Environmental Conservation and Forestry is currently in the process of creating a draft forestry law – which is aimed at tackling deforestation and boosting foreign investment in mills. It will also ensure that raw, unprocessed logs are no longer allowed to be exported as of 1 April next year.

    UN Forum agrees on actions to improve sustainable forest management

    2013 - 05.03

    The UN Forum on Forests has agreed on a series of actions to improve sustainable forest management and safeguard forests for future generations.

    The forum concluded its tenth session on Saturday after adopting two resolutions and considering the establishment of a voluntary global fund to support sustainable forest management,

    The 197 member countries of the Forum called on governments to address how they could improve sustainable forest management suggesting a range of actions from substantive data collection to addressing the causes of deforestation.

    The Forum also agreed that to support the endeavour, multiple sources of funding were needed from public and private spheres, as well as considering a voluntary global forest fund.

    Mario Ruales Carranza of Ecuador, the Chair of the Forum’s tenth session, said ““The successful outcome of [the session] proves once again the key and unique value-added role of the Forum as a global policy-setting body on all types of forests.”

    Currently, around 1.6 billion people depend on forests for their livelihood with three billion people depending on the wood for cooking and heating. Moreover, three-fourths of all freshwater is sourced from forested catchment areas.

    Companies like Greenwood Management are already safeguarding the world’s forests for future generations by encouraging sustainable planting.

    Jan McAlpine, Director of Forum’s Secretariat said: “There is now greater recognition than ever before that forests are essential to economic development and sustainable development,

    “In this historic meeting, countries broke new ground and agreed to take actions that demonstrate the need to sustainably manage our forests so that they can continue to be a source of livelihoods, broader economic development, including clean air, clean water and biodiversity – all leading to poverty eradication.”

    The two-week session, held in Istanbul, was attended by over 50 ministers and high-level officials as well as two Prime Ministers and one Vice President.

    Meeting for the first time away from UN Headquarters in New York the Forum included events showcasing best practices for sustainable forest management and the countries and individuals who have already put these actions into use.