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?
Through a new collaboration between World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and International Paper (NYSE: IP), research will be undertaken to help answer the question of the quantity and quality of forestland needed for the planet to thrive. The outputs of this work 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, IP Senior Manager of Natural Capital Stewardship. "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."
In addition to delivering on the UN Sustainable Development Goals at the global level, the collaboration also will bring one local action to life—investing in a new ambitious restoration project in the Mogi Guaçu river basin of the Atlantic Forest of Brazil. IP has operations and is already investing in restoration in this region, work that will ideally inspire other organizations to invest in forest restoration in Brazil and beyond.
"IP'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 World Wildlife Fund. "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."
Through this expanded collaboration, IP demonstrates that investing in the long-term sustainability of natural capital makes economic sense. As a company that transforms renewable resources into fiber-based products that people depend on every day, IP will continue to promote responsible forest stewardship, both within and beyond its supply chains, to ensure healthy and productive forest ecosystems for generations to come.