By Charles Emogor [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], from Wikimedia Commons

This article was originally published on Spott


ZSL finds lack of transparency in tropical forestry sector restricts monitoring of corporate commitments

Efforts to monitor and manage the impacts of the tropical forestry sector are being hindered, due to many companies failing to accurately disclose where they operate – leaving biodiverse forests at risk of unsustainable exploitation. This is just one finding of an in-depth evaluation of forestry companies, published today on 18 July 2018 by ZSL (Zoological Society of London).

In assessing 50 of the world’s most significant tropical timber and pulp producers, ZSL’s SPOTT (Sustainability Policy Transparency Toolkit) found that most are failing to publish accurate maps of their operations. With 2017 the second worst year on record for tropical tree cover loss, the forestry sector must now move to publish maps that support independent monitoring of corporate commitments targeted at addressing risks to forests.

ZSL’s SPOTT assessments cover timber and pulp producers with combined land holdings of over 350,000 square kilometres, an area the size of Germany. In the latest annual assessments, only eight companies were found to publish clear and comprehensive maps of their forestry operations, while 27 companies disclosed incomplete information. A further 15 companies do not provide any suitable maps of their operations, meaning the location of over 45,000 square kilometres – or over six million football pitches – of forestry operations remains unclear.

To increase accountability, the tropical forestry sector should freely publish digitised maps that allow the exact locations and boundaries of their operations to be identified. Certification schemes such as the FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) and PEFC (Programme for Endorsement of Forestry Certification) should also take steps to encourage the publication of certified companies’ mapped boundaries….”

Read on at: Spott.