According to the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), UNEP’s 5th Global Environmental Outlook Report, published on 6 June, reaffirms the need for urgent action to reduce the pressure of human activities on the Earth’s carrying capacity.
Andre de Freitas, FSC Director General, said: “UNEP shows that although actions taken since the first Rio Conference twenty years ago have had some impact, they have been insufficient to reverse negative environmental trends. Forests are one of the ecosystems essential for resilience against devastating climate change, they provide livelihoods for millions of people, and indispensable resources for all of us. Worryingly, they continue to disappear or deteriorate, in particular in the tropics. In October 2010, governments agreed on biodiversity targets, aiming to nearly halt deforestation by 2020 and restore degraded ecosystems. That first step needs to be complemented in Rio with an effective set of actions that integrate environmental protection, social justice and progress with greening our economies.”
UNEPs report mentions forest certification as one of the tools needed to ensure sustainable forest management. It suggests that the percentage of certified forests in the world (currently 10%) need to be increased.
FSC has called for government commitment in the Rio Framework of Actions to support forest certification, including through sustainable public procurement. These proposals have received attention and are likely to end up in the final text. In the final days before Rio+20 FSC will promote stronger and clearer language, asking, in particular, for the urgency to apply forest certification massively in the tropical areas and a global initiative to apply sustainable public criteria on the basis of robust and verifiable criteria.
In Rio, FSC will lead events on 13, 16 and 20 June. On 17 June, FSC Director General Andre de Freitas will be panellist in the Sustainable Development Dialogue on Forests, an initiative from the President of Brazil to develop key messages from civil society for the final Conference. He will also take part in several other events, including the conference on forests organised by FAO on the 18th.
FSC has joined the Sustainable Procurement Initiative coordinated by UNEP, which will be launched on the 18 June at the UNEP Pavilion.
For more information about FSC’s activities around Rio+20 please visit www.fsc.org. Please also like us on Facebook (http://on.fb.me/FSCfacebook) and follow us on Twitter (#FSC_IC) for frequent updates.