The global forestry advisory body to the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) recently released details on how sustainable forest management and forest products are well-positioned to drive a healthy, green, and inclusive recovery as we continue to face serious challenges related to Covid-19 around the world.
In its statement released in Rome, Italy, the Advisory Committee of Sustainable Forest-based Industries (ACSFI) referenced the essential role that forestry and forest products have played during the pandemic – and how they can help drive much-needed economic recovery.
Derek Nighbor, president and CEO of Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) and president of the International Council of Forest and Paper Associations (ICFPA) released the following statement: “This year has been incredibly difficult. Millions of lives have been forever changed – over 35 million people sick, over one million lives lost, and economic devastation and pain for too many families and businesses around the world.
“It has forced all of us to think about how we can help in our communities, how we can better provide for our people, and how we can support growth and economic recovery that is good for the planet and leaves no one behind.
“ICFPA welcomes today’s statement by ACSFI to align with United Nations ambitions to build a prosperous, inclusive, and sustainable future that involves beating the virus, addressing climate change, and creating economic opportunities for workers and their families.
“The forest sector and its workers around the globe continue to embrace this call to action by delivering quality products with health and environmental benefits, practical solutions to lower our carbon footprint, and family-supporting jobs for our people. Today’s global statement confirms that we have an opportunity to do even more.”
Jane Molony, executive director of the Paper Manufacturers Association of South Africa, concurred: “While the South African pulp and paper sector has for the most part remained open and Covid-19 has been well managed by our member companies, the disruptions of 2020 have had a serious impact on our industry and indeed the country at large.
“Our sector continues to work with government on various issues, including the planting of much-needed trees for renewable, carbon-storing products that we use every day. We hope that through our producer responsibility organisation Fibre Circle we can find innovative ways for people to benefit economically from paper recycling and by-product beneficiation. Forestry, pulp and paper sector companies are well-positioned to lead the way to a low carbon economy, making use of the ‘ultimate renewable’ to address both climate change and stop the free fall in job losses,” says Molony.