There is not much debate that the environmental issue at the forefront of our minds these days is climate change.
There is also no doubt that by taking care of our forests we can address a lot of environmental challenges – including some related to climate change.
Just think for a moment what forests provide.
They are natural filters – removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and storing carbon as plants, leaf litter and soil.
They provide habitat and support biodiversity, they regulate water flows and protect water quality. They offer enjoyment and recreation. They also support local economies, and deliver a stable, and renewable, supply of the wood and paper products.
The many benefits of natural forests are often found in managed forests that supply the products we use every day. And the economic value is an added incentive for owners to manage their forests with care, and to maintain them as forest rather than selling them for profit – which often results in the forests being turned into malls or subdivisions.
At The Conservation Fund, we have long recognized this.
We know that forests offering value economically and socially are more likely to continue offering value environmentally.
That’s why we work with many partners to help communities develop sustainable solutions that integrate economic return with environmental quality.
That’s also why we certify our forest lands to a credible third-party certification program, and make sure we always ask for wood and paper products with on-product labels that show the fiber is from responsible, legal sources.
Third-party forest certification began as a response to market concerns about questionable forest activities, primarily in developing countries, and has become an important tool to promote sustainable forest management and responsible procurement around the world.