Unsustainable and illegal logging is one of the major causes of forest degradation and loss and continues to rise. Globally, more than 100 million cubic metres of timber are estimated to be harvested illegally each year, and unsustainable logging accounts for 30–70 per cent of forest degradation across Africa, Southeast Asia, and South America, changing forests from carbon sinks to carbon sources. At the same time, demand for wood and forest products is increasing rapidly. If the current trend continues, the amount of wood we take from forests and plantations each year may need to triple by 2050.
As population and incomes grow, we need forestry and farming practices that produce more with less land, water and pollution, as well as new consumption patterns that meet the needs of the poor while eliminating waste and over-consumption.
Nearly one-third of the tropical forest area globally is designated for timber production. It is critical that production forests are managed with proper ecological and social standards and take into account the global use and recovery of wood products in their processing, and recycling. As population and incomes grow, we need forestry and farming practices that produce more with less land, water and pollution and new consumption patterns that meet the needs of the poor while eliminating waste.
At the heart of WWF’s forest sector work is the belief that the world’s growing appetite for wood can be met while conserving the world’s forests if the right measures to use these resources wisely are implemented. WWF wants to see and aims to help develop an innovative forest sector that values and safeguards forests. Improved forest management and well-managed plantations have a critical role to play in realizing this vision. By implementing sustainable practices on the ground and increasing responsible trade worldwide, the forestry sector can maximize the benefits of biodiversity-rich, productive forests and embrace an inclusive, respectful culture that supports people and our planet
- Global platforms and tools such as the Global Forest & Trade Network (GFTN) and New Generation Plantations (NGP) and pulp and paper guidance for producers and buyers to help move the sector towards responsible forest management, processing and trade. Responsible forest management can help redress some of the most severe problems affecting forests, such as deforestation, forest degradation, illegal logging and illegal wildlife trade. WWF has been working both at the national and global levels for more than three decades and has contributed significantly to helping restructure the nature of global forest production and trade so that it is easier for businesses and consumers to identify and make better choices. We use a multi-pronged approach to influencing the private sector, both through campaigns and impact-focused partnerships such as with IKEA and Mondi to bring about market and policy change.
- Working with forest stakeholders to find solutions to managing global forest resources. Around 60 per cent of forests worldwide are designated for production. Forest plantations make up 7 per cent of global forest cover, but account for 35 per cent of commercial timber volume. Making these production forests and plantations work to safeguard forests and their rich biodiversity, as well as meet the needs of society and local livelihoods will be critical for a changed future for our planet. WWF works with multiple stakeholders both in the private sector and in the policy arena to influence this change and to find innovative solutions that work for people and nature.
- Engaging and strengthening community and smallholder forestry around better forest resource management and investment People need to find direct benefits from forests for them to value and conserve nature. WWF is testing and implementing a portfolio of approaches around the world to deliver these benefits, including certification, better management practices and improved social forest management, commodities and policy measures.
- Advocacy and research on the role and importance of the forest sector in avoiding forest degradation, delivering forest restoration, preserving biodiversity and improving local livelihoods.