NGOs give Asian pulp and paper giant performance test on promises

NGOs give Asian pulp and paper giant performance test on promises Jakarta, 19 September: Global environmental organisation WWF urges Asia Pulp and Paper (APP) to sign up to joint NGO performance targets in order to depart from its status as one of the world’s most notorious deforesters and become an environmentally and socially responsible company. The … Continue reading “NGOs give Asian pulp and paper giant performance test on promises”

NGOs give Asian pulp and paper giant performance test on promises

Jakarta, 19 September: Global environmental organisation WWF urges Asia Pulp and Paper (APP) to sign up to joint NGO performance targets in order to depart from its status as one of the world’s most notorious deforesters and become an environmentally and socially responsible company.

The performance targets, released by the European and North American Environmental Paper Network today , provide guidance for the assessment of APP’s implementation of its 2020 Sustainability Roadmap  and its Forest Conservation Policy (FCP) including definite milestones on restoration and compensation for past forest loss, becoming a 100% plantation based company and accepting independent third party audit.

Environmental Paper Network members include many of the civil society organisations who have been active in opposing APP’s three decades of large scale deforestation, including international NGOs Greenpeace, the Rainforest Action Network and WWF and Indonesian NGOs Wahana Bumi Hijau and Walhi.

“We cautiously welcomed APP’s earlier announcement that it would cease new deforestation in Indonesia. The performance targets and milestones published address the sad legacy of APP’s operations over the last three decades which left little natural forest to pulp in APP’s main base of operations in Sumatra.” said Nazir Foead Conservation Director for WWF-Indonesia.

“Fulfilling these performance milestones is the quickest way for APP to prove its commitment and end its long streak of broken promises to sustainability,” said Rod Taylor, Forest Director for WWF International.

The milestone document released today emphasizes NGO’s calls to have the company acknowledge, restore and compensate the enormous environmental and social damage it has caused, stop all supply of mixed tropical hardwood to any of its mills by 1 January 2014, and accept independent third party evaluation of the implementation of its new policies.

WWF and its many local NGO partners will continue to scrutinize APP’s actions and report on the company’s performance against the targets and milestones released today.

Until that performance has been proven, WWF advises companies to adopt a wait and see attitude and join WWF in adopting the milestone document to assess the company’s performance.

For more information, contact:

Aditya Bayunanda, Pulp & Paper Manager, WWF-Indonesia +62-818-265588   abayunanda@wwf.or.id

About WWF

WWF is one of the world’s largest and most respected independent conservation organizations, with more than 5 million supporters and a global network active in over 100 countries.  WWF’s mission is to stop the degradation of the earth’s natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature, by conserving the world’s biological diversity, ensuring that the use of renewable natural resources is sustainable, and promoting the reduction of pollution and wasteful consumption.

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Aditya Bayunanda, Pulp & Paper Manager, WWF-Indonesia +62-818-265588   abayunanda@wwf.or.id

About WWF

WWF is one of the world’s largest and most respected independent conservation organizations, with over 5 million supporters and a global network active in over 100 countries.  WWF’s mission is to stop the degradation of the earth’s natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature, by conserving the world’s biological diversity, ensuring that the use of renewable natural resources is sustainable, and promoting the reduction of pollution and wasteful consumption.

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Heads of state come together in call for UN action to combat wildlife crime

Heads of state come together in call for UN action to combat wildlife crime

New York: Efforts to combat illicit wildlife crime received a massive boost today as heads of state and a number of ministers outlined the serious impacts of poaching and illicit wildlife trafficking.

During the most important the year in international politics, governments chose to highlight illicit wildlife trafficking as a major threat to peace and security, the rule of law and global development.

President Ali Bongo of Gabon called for the appointment of a special UN envoy on wildlife crime as well as a UNGA resolution, a move that was supported by the UK Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, William Hague and the German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle, as well as other representatives present such as the Norwegian Minister of Environment.

President Ali Bongo said, “Illicit wildlife crime is no longer a simple environmental problem, it is a transnational crime and a threat to peace and security on our continent”.

The President of Tanzania, Jakaya Kikwete highlighted the problem of demand and called for help from the international community to close markets.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Guido Westerwelle highlighted that for Germany “it is no longer a measure of securing endangered species, it’s about countering the spread of organized crime and preventing uncontrolled militarization. This has become a problem of foreign and security matters”.

“This is a step forward in the fight against wildlife crime and today countries have shown they are serious in the fight against this organised crime,” said Jim Leape, Director General of WWF International.

“Wildlife trafficking is now more organised, more lucrative, more widespread and more dangerous than ever before. It constitutes a threat to territorial integrity, security and represents an invasion as well as natural resources theft,” he added.

The high level meeting,“Poaching and illicit wildlife trafficking – a multidimensional crime and a growing challenge to the international community,” was hosted by the government’s of Germany and Gabon and was attended by ministers and other high level representatives from Chad, Thailand, UK, Norway, Belgium, the US, Colombia.

Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations Jan Eliasson provided an introduction, and the Executive Director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, and the Secretary General of the Economic Community of Central African States both took the floor.

Across town at an event organized by the Clinton Global Initiative conservations organizations, including WWF, and world governments announced an $80 million CGI Commitment to Action to save Africa’s elephants.

Over the next three years, the commitment makers and their partners will fund and facilitate collaborated efforts and resources to protect key African elephant populations from poaching, while reducing trafficking and halting demand for ivory.

Carter Roberts, president & CEO of WWF-US said: “We know how to solve this crisis. What’s been missing is a united front from governments, NGOs and the private sector to scale up resources to stop the killing and crush the demand. Look at what has been done with conflict diamonds and fur from endangered species.

“The more people are aware of the consequences of what they buy, it changes what they do. “We need to do the same with elephant ivory and rhino horn and tiger bone,” he added.

 

IPCC Confirms Energy Transformation Must Start Now

Stockholm, Sweden (27 September 2013): After 25 years of IPCC reports, the inconvenient truth is confirmed: climate change is real; it’s happening at an alarming rate, and human-activities, mainly the burning of fossil fuels, are causing it.

We, six of the world’s largest environmental and development non-government organisations, with the international trade union confederation, make a unified call to governments to act on the findings and introduce strong climate pollution controls.

We are more certain now than ever that climate change is, and will continue to have, devastating impacts on our communities and on our planet – with catastrophic temperature rise by as early as 2050 – unless we change our policies today, the groups say

We can no longer ignore the ominous signs, our tragic experiences, the confirmed science or the stubborn facts. The focus must now be on ensuring comprehensive government action to avert the worst of the impacts and to put us on a different path.

We already know that the energy sector is the main culprit – but also the main solution – for global climate change. We already know that a large source of climate-changing pollution comes from burning fossil fuels. Extraction of fossil fuels is also increasingly a driver for the displacement of people, local pollution, and the direct loss of biodiversity.

At the same time, renewable energy provides a straightforward, proven and increasingly affordable solution (with far fewer direct impacts) that can also bring energy access to the 1.2 billion people currently without. If we are to follow what the science says, then we have to stop investing in fossil fuels and increase investment in sustainable renewable energy.

We affirm that the worst impacts of climate change can be averted without resorting to false solutions such as dangerous “geo-engineering” (or large scale disruption of natural processes) in an attempt to stop climate change with little knowledge of their unintended consequences.

WWF

The IPCC report confirms what we know: we have no choice but to act now to arrest runaway climate change. Climate change is a gigantic and clear risk to the natural world and all of the people who depend on it, threatening coastal cities and communities as well as a third of all animal species and half the world’s plant species. We know that pollution from burning fossil fuels is the main cause of climate change. We are calling on governments and the financial community to act immediately to stop risky investments in coal, oil and gas, and start investing in our long term future based on sustainable, renewable energy.

Samantha Smith, leader of the WWF’s Global Climate & Energy Initiative

ITUC

Governments have a responsibility to tackle global unemployment, precarious work and climate change. There are solutions available for governments. Green and decent job promotion in climate-friendly sectors, and building a Just Transition for sectors in hardship can demonstrate that we don’t have to choose between people and the planet.  

Sharan Burrow, General Secretary, International Trade Union Confederation

FRIENDS OF THE EARTH EWNI

This report is the equivalent of a planetary alarm bell ringing its final chimes. The merchants of doubt who deliberately muddy the science so they can hit the snooze button – have no option but to wake up and accept the debate is over. The call for an immediate ban on new dirty fuel projects, and in support of a clean energy transformation, is already being echoed by communities from every corner of the world. The demands for these real solutions will continue to intensify until no government is able to put the interests of dirty energy corporations above that of their citizens and the planet.

Asad Rehman, Head of International Climate, Friends of the Earth EWNI

OXFAM

Scientists have confirmed what farmers in poor countries around the world have been telling us for years, that changes to their climate are destroying their livelihoods, ruining crops, hitting incomes, food quality and often their family’s health. Governments must respond to today’s IPCC report by urgently slashing emissions to avoid the worst impacts of climate change, and financially assisting the poorest countries to cope now and in the future.

Winnie Byanyima, Executive Director of Oxfam

ACTIONAID

This report is part of a larger trend: climate science is becoming clearer every year, and so are climate impacts. Communities are already facing loss and damage attributable to climate change – the East Africa and Sahel droughts since 2011, which have caused not only widespread hunger but also disease and refugee crises, are just two terrible examples of a broader phenomenon. The IPCC report is one more piece of evidence that governments must take immediate and urgent action to cut emissions, provide finance for adaptation, and address loss and damage.

Brandon Wu, Senior Policy Analyst, ActionAid

CHRISTIAN AID

This IPCC report shows that the science of climate change is now settled. For many people in the poorest parts of the world their own experience of living with climate chaos told them that long ago. The scandal is that it’s the rich, carbon hungry developed nations which have contributed most to the conditions which the world’s climate victims now have to live in. We have a moral duty to act and if we act quickly there is still time to secure a healthy future for our planet.

Mohamed Adow, Senior Advisor, Global Advocacy and Alliances, Christian Aid

GREENPEACE

What the IPCC has set out are projections not prophecies. Alongside the warnings of unimaginable levels of warming and the chaos that would follow, the report shows us the potential pathway to a very different tomorrow. We can still limit global warming by ramping up renewable energy and making faster and deeper emissions cuts but the longer we wait the more the prospects diminish and the costs increase.  A bleak and hopeless future is not a foregone conclusion, it’s a choice. Stephanie Tunmore, Senior Climate and Energy Campaigner, Greenpeace International

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For media enquiries, please contact:

Mandy Jean Woods / mwoods@wwf.org.za / skype: mandibles-sa

Alex Rafalowicz / alex.rafalowicz@gmail.com / skype: alexrafalowicz