How much forest land — and what quality — is needed to ensure forests can continue to provide people, plants and animals worldwide with clean air and water, food and the goods and services they need to thrive?
The question will be investigated through new collaboration between the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and International Paper. The research will be used to help create the world’s first regional and global science-based targets for forests, as well as the first comprehensive set of guidance on actions that can be taken to sustain the world's forests. Such ‘forest positive’ actions include investing in responsible forest management, supporting forest conservation, restoring forestland, and raising awareness about the importance of forests with consumers.
“Our entire business depends on the sustainability of forests,” said Sophie Beckham, Senior Manager of Natural Capital Stewardship at International Paper. “We are excited to build on our participation in WWF’s Global Forest & Trade Network program through a significant and strategic initiative to advance conservation and restoration actions in forest ecosystems beyond our existing fiber supply chains.”
The collaboration also will bring one local action to life: an investment in a new ambitious restoration project in the Mogi Guaçu river basin of the Atlantic Forest of Brazil. An addition to its existing operations and investments in restoration in this region, International Paper hopes their actions will inspire other organizations to invest in forest restoration in Brazil and beyond.
“IP’s [International Paper’s] investment and leadership will drive and deliver a better understanding of what forests need to stay well above their ecological tipping points,” said Kerry Cesareo, vice president for forests at WWF. “Given the large scale and fast pace of forest loss and degradation globally, bold and inspiring actions like this within the private sector are needed to sustain forests.”
Meanwhile, travel company Southern Explorations, which specializes in small group trips and itineraries to Latin America, has introduced a new carbon offsetting option for its guests. Guests can opt to offset the carbon produced on their adventure, from both in-country activities and their international flights.
The program will be delivered in partnership with Sustainable Travel International, a non-profit conservation and development organization with over 10 years of experience in carbon offsetting.
Proceeds from Southern Explorations’ carbon offsetting initiative will support rotating projects throughout Latin America beginning with the Asorpar Reforestation Project in Colombia. This project is a community-based emission reduction project that focuses on the restoration of degraded areas and reforestation in the Orinoquia and Andean regions of the country. Twenty native tree species have already been planted in the 3,128-acre pilot area, leading to the return of 117 secondary plant species and a multitude of animals. The project also provides benefits to local communities, including alternative livelihood creation and positive health impacts.
“We value our team’s ability to create exceptional travel experiences while delivering a positive impact for the destination,” said Justin Laycob, Founder & CEO of Southern Explorations. “We have always supported leading sustainability organizations in the destinations we explore and we are excited about this newest partnership with Sustainable Travel International, helping us to further our comprehensive approach to sustainability with a forward-looking carbon offset program.”