Deforestation represents a highly significant threat to our climate, air quality and also biodiversity.
It accounts for a staggering 15% of Global Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions. Irresponsible felling of trees is leading to irreversible environmental and ecological catastrophe. Unless we all as businesses and individuals make the right decisions about products we buy and actions to take, the impact will only get worst and see the extinction of many species of flora and fauna.
Deforestation is the conversion of forest to another land use – this includes conversion in ‘invaluable’ forest areas - e.g. palm oil plantations and other uses. Deforestation is frequently mentioned alongside forest degradation and both have devastating impacts that need urgent mitigation. Around 13 Million hectares of forests lost pa between 2000 and 2010 and as well as the ecological impact, rainforest deforestation jeopardises people’s livelihoods.
Support Avoided Deforestation & Tree Planting Projects across the World Now
Offset your carbon emissions via tree planting / forest based projects across the World.
Portel-Pará Deforestation (REDD+)
UK Tree Planting + Brazil Reducing Deforestation
What are the Ecological risks?
- Release of GHG - causing climate change
- Reduced Biodiversity
- Water Cycle Disruption
- Soil Erosion
- Loss of community income
What are the risks to Business?
Sometimes overlooked, the economic risks of deforestation have been summarised by CDP as:
- $906 billion annual turnover is a risk for publicly listed companies as a result of deforestation and the impact on products (timber, palm oil, soy and cattle)
- 81% of agricultural production is already experiencing negative business impacts as a result of declining resources.
- Only 40% companies currently review the impacts of deforestation within a 5 year business plan
- Need for deforestation risk management & sustainable supply chain management & call for large corporates to support government regulations and global agreements e.g. Paris Agreement.
What is the Solution?
Deforestation needs tackling from both sides of supply and demand.
As individuals and businesses, we are avid consumers of wood and palm oil containing products (around 50% supermarket products contain this - such as foods, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals). We all need to be aware of our own use and make sure that we limit what we use and only buy responsibly sourced goods.
For wood products look for FSC certification
Check for Low/Palm Oil free products and retailers or look for Certified Sustainable Palm Oil (CSPO)
At government level, countries need to put in place anti-deforestation policies and more importantly assure that these are rigorously enforced and independently monitored.
Avoided Deforestation Programmes
These programmes are key to the sustainability of key regions of biodiversity (including rainforest). The programmes work either by protection of regions that would have otherwise been subject to (legal) planned deforestation and others provide rigorous support and set us reserves to protect against (illegal) unplanned deforestation.
Cities and Trees – Urban Heat Island (UHI) Effect
Although a different scenario to deforestation described above, our desire to concrete over natural land cover (including all important trees) causes local temperature increase that have been linked to air pollution levels and illnesses. Planting trees in green areas help to limit the UHI effect, by providing shade, deflecting the sun’s radiation and releasing moisture back into the atmosphere.