21st March is the United Nations International Day of Forests, a day to celebrate and raise awareness of the importance of all types of trees and forests in all countries. Forests are essential for planetary health and human well-being. Forests cover nearly one-third of the Earth’s land surface and provide people with goods such as timber, fuel, food and fodder, help combat climate change, protect biodiversity, soils, rivers and reservoirs, and serve as areas where people can get close to nature.
More action is needed to halt deforestation and degradation
The world has lost 420 million hectares of forest – an area bigger than India – since 1990, and deforestation continues at about 10 million hectares per year, due mainly to agricultural expansion. Managing forests sustainably can help reduce deforestation and degradation, restore degraded landscapes, and provide people with jobs and renewable materials. Deforestation is, in fact, the second-leading cause of climate change after burning fossil fuels. It accounts for nearly 20 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions — more than the world’s entire transport sector.
World Land Trust
One organisation that has first-hand knowledge of the imprtance of forests is World Land Trust, an organisation dedicated to protecting huge areas of forestry around the world. Backed by a host of leading environmentalists, including Sir David Attenborough, the conservation charity funds the creation of reserves to provide permanent protection for the world’s most biologically significant habitats.
Since its foundation in 1989, World Land Trust and its overseas project partners have been instrumental in the purchase and protection of more than two million acres of tropical forest and other threatened habitats – habitats that would otherwise have been lost. Forests act as carbon sinks, absorbing the equivalent of roughly 2 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide each year. Carbon Balanced Print and Paper, in partnership with World Land Trust, funds ecosystem protection and restoration projects in Vietnam, Mexico, Ecuador and Guatemala.
How to Get Involved
While there are many activities going on around the world on the International Day of Forests, one way business can get involved on a longer-term basis is by choosing Carbon Balanced Print and Paper. The scheme allows brands and organisations to offset the carbon impacts of their paper and printed communications through the protection of some of the world’s most biologically significant and threatened habitats.
As well as giving businesses the opportunity to make their printed communications more sustainable, the Carbon Balanced programme also provides unique and highly impactful communications tools. Users can proudly demonstrate their positive action by using the prestigious World Land Trust logo on their printed communications. Certificates and a suite of marketing materials can also be used for promotion and awareness building.
To date, the Carbon Balanced Print and Paper programme has enabled WLT to offset over 250,000 tonnes of carbon and protect 65,000 acres of forests rich in biodiversity.
By tackling carbon, reducing deforestation and protecting threatened species, businesses choosing Carbon Balanced Print and Paper can meet the needs of their customers, their own Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance commitments, and the planet.