Overview - Causes
Help Rendered: Awareness Groups
I think that there is only
one awareness group worth highlighting in this section. We will look into 2 of the
projects that they have started to help this earth look better. That awareness group is
none other than the WWF ( World Wildlife Fund ). The Forests for Life campaign is one of
the 4 main projects that the WWF is funding and looking into. There are 2 targets for the
WWF, firstly, Protected Areas to be achieved, secondly, the independent certification of
25 million hectares by the year 2001.
The establishment and
practical realisation of an ecologically representative network of protected areas,
covering at least 10 per cent of each of the world's forest types by the year 2000,
demonstrating a range of socially and ecologically appropriate
The primary focus for achieving an increase in forest protected areas is through
governments. HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, WWF's international president (emeritus) has
written to over 50 heads of government asking them to make a pledge to establish an
ecologically representative network of protected areas covering a minimum of 10 per cent
of each forest type in their respective countries.
Recent research shows that 94% of the world's remaining forests are unprotected.
Worldwide, more than half of the world's forests have already been lost. Deforestation was
most severe in Europe and North America, but in recent decades the rate of deforestation
in Latin America, Africa and Asia-Pacific has massively increased. Details of threats to
the world's forests can be found in the WWF/IUCN Forest Policy Book.
When forest is lost, so is much of its biological wealth. As 90 per cent of the world's
species are found in forested areas, loss of forest has a serious impact on the world's
WWF is campaigning to ensure that an ecologically representative network of protected
areas, covering a minimum of 10 per cent of the world's forests is established by the year
2000, demonstrating a range of ecologically and socially appropriate models.
Forest certification is a
new and innovative tool which is already having impacts on forests around the world by
providing a market incentive for improved management.
Certification is one of the most rapidly developing 'soft policy tools' (i.e
non-regulatory instruments) which can be used to help the forest sector move into line
with the principles of sustainable development.
As forest certification is a market-based initiative WWF is targeting business to deliver
the 25 million hectare by the year 2001. Development of national Buyers' Groups is being
actively promoted by WWF in a number of key timber consuming countries to help encourage
producers and manufacturers to switch to timber from independently certified well-managed
forests, labelled with the FSC logo. These groups, made up of consuming and retailing
companies, should provide the necessary market incentive to persuade logging companies
that certification is not only viable but is, ultimately, a positive marketing tool.
The WWF Logo
Forest Stewardship Council