Industry News

Companies need Governments' support to halt deforestation, says Fern survey

The environmental NGO Fern has issued a new report - How businesses are meeting commitments to end deforestation - asking Governments to do more to help companies whose products drive tropical deforestation.

Fern interviewed 15 major companies involved in the production and trade of four agricultural commodities which are causing the most of forest loss worldwide: palm oil, timber, cocoa and rubber.

The survey covered big name Western users and traders of agricultural commodities, such as Unilever, Nestlé, Cargill and IKEA. It also included producer companies based in developing countries which are not household names but nonetheless have considerable influence, such as APP (Asia Pulp and Paper), Sime Darby and Golden Agri-Resources

Areas where companies wanted government support in their efforts to end deforestation included:

  • having clear and consistent policies on customary land tenure;
  • better and more effectively implemented policies on land use planning and the allocation of concessions;
  • stronger protection of forests that are rich in carbon and have high conservation value;
  • tougher enforcement of existing laws designed to protect forests.

Failures of government regulation and enforcement were specifically identified as problems.

Other major issues reported in the survey included:

  • In general, the companies interviewed believed that global targets for reducing deforestation set out in the UN’s New York Declaration on Forests, and by industry bodies such as the Consumer Goods Forum, would not be met. Companies did, however, expect to deliver on promises they have made about their own operations. Achieving targets for cocoa and rubber was seen as more difficult than for timber and palm oil.
  • Social issues, including disputes over land tenure and ownership, were viewed by many companies as critical and far more difficult to resolve than environmental issues. The lack of clarity over ‘who owns the land’ was seen as a particular problem.
  • Some companies had experienced problems with investors being more focused on short-term profits; none reported pressure from investors to increase their levels of ambition.
  • The cost to companies of meeting their commitments, although difficult to calculate, are seen as significant but not excessive for large companies.
  • Systematic external monitoring of overall company commitments and progress towards them is not common, but some companies are developing systems.

 

[News URL: http://cti-timber.org/content/companies-need-governments-support-halt-deforestation-says-fern-survey]

Oslo receives European Forest City 2017 award

On 9 March 2017, the European Forest Institute (EFI) awarded Oslo "The European Forest City 2017".

The forests around Oslo are known by the locals as well as visitors as Oslomarka. The forests once used mainly for timber have become an important part of the everyday life of the entire community. During the winter months, the forests have more than 350 km of ski tracks with up to  10 000 visitors daily. The recreational activities vary with the seasons: hiking, picking berries and mushrooms, as well as fishing and biking are among the most popular ones.

In her speech Oslo Mayor Marianne Borgen said: "We are honoured to receive the European Forest City award. We are very proud that the forests of Oslo are being recognized."

Mayor Borgen also pointed out that Oslo is sometimes called "the blue and the green – and the city in between" because of its proximity to the Oslo Fjord and vast surrounding forests. "You can experience both the vibe of the city centre and go skiing in the forests – all on the same day. You can even get there by subway. Oslomarka is in other words a big part of Oslos identity and this award is very much appreciated", she concluded.

EFI grants the title of European Forest City each year to the city which hosts its Annual Conference. The 2017 EFI Annual Conference will be held in Oslo in October 2017.

[In the picture, courtesy of EFI, EFI Director Marc Palahí presented Marianne Borgen, the Mayor of Oslo (in the middle), and Gerd Robsahm Kjørven, Director for Agency for Urban Environment, with a certificate to mark Oslo's nomination as European Forest City 2017]

 

[News URL: http://cti-timber.org/content/oslo-receives-european-forest-city-2017-award]

Dr Charles Mynors awarded ICF’s exclusive honorary fellowship

The Institute of Chartered Foresters (ICF) has awarded Dr Charles Mynors an Honorary Fellowship for "his outstanding contribution to the forestry and arboriculture sector."

This exlusive award - only bestowed 14 times in the Institute’s 90 year history - intends to recognise notable service to the advancement of forestry and/or arboricultural knowledge.

The Honorary Fellowship award will be officially presented to Dr Mynors at the forthcoming Trees, People and Built Environment 3 (TPBE3) Conference in Birmingham in April 2017.

Dr Mynors commented: “I am delighted to be awarded this Honorary Fellowship, as I move on to the next phase of my professional career. I have greatly enjoyed working with so many people in the tree world over the last 25 or so years, and it is good to know that they seem to have appreciated my input.  Hopefully, the law is now somewhat clearer than it used to be!  And, maybe, in my new role I will be able to make at least some further improvements. So I am very grateful for the award, and I send my very best wishes to all concerned. I look forward to being with you in Birmingham.”

In 2016, the Law Commission invited Dr Mynors to lead the project to simplify and consolidate Welsh Planning Law with an aim of replacing it with a new planning Act or Acts of Wales.

Before joining Francis Taylor Building in 1989 Charles was a planning officer in local government for nine years, and is a Fellow of both the RTPI and the RICS, as well being a founder member of the IHBC.

Dr Mynors has successfully written numerous leading textbooks on planning law; The Law of Trees, Forests and Hedges is specifically referenced by the forestry and arboriculture profession. For many years he has been a member of the Editorial Advisory Board of the Journal of Planning and Environment Law; has lectured widely, and is a visiting professor at Oxford Brookes University. Dr Mynors has contributed to Modern Studies in Property Law: Volume 8 (published by Hart in 2015) in the chapter titled ‘Simplifying Planning Law: A More Radical Approach’, and has given a lecture to the Statute Law Society on the reform of planning law

Shireen Chambers FICFor, ICF Executive Director, said: “The Institute is delighted and honoured Dr Mynors has accepted the prestigious Honorary Fellowship award and thanks him for his significant contribution to our sector.”

 

[News URL: http://cti-timber.org/content/dr-charles-mynors-awarded-icf%E2%80%99s-exclusive-honorary-fellowship]