New EEPN report on pulp mill expansion launched at the World Forestry Congress

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On the Civil Society Alternative Programme (CSAP) of the 14th FAO World Forestry Congress (WFC), held 7-11th Septemberin Durban, South Africa, the European Environmental Paper Network(EEPN) introduced its new report Mapping Pulp Mill Expansion – Risks and Recommendations to the civil society and representatives of the FAO and WFC.

Global paper consumption and production has been growing at a steady rate for decades. It has quadrupled since 1960 and is expected to keep growing. EEPN analyzed the upcoming virgin wood fibre pulp mills and their possible impacts on surrounding forests and land-use, by overlapping with maps of intact forests, of ongoing and upcoming deforestation and of sensitive habitats.

The report:

  • reflects a rising global demand for pulp and paper in the future, points out the inequitable access to paper and the need for reducing paper consumption in industrialized countries.
  • provides a general overview of each region of the world where new pulp mills are expected or under construction, and includes maps visualizing their general proximity to identified deforestation fronts and intact forest landscapes.
  • shows that current pulp and paper production is concentrated in Asia, North America and North and Western Europe, while most of the future pulp production capacity increase is expected to take place in Asia, Russia and South America.
  • points out possible impacts and potential risks of increased demand for forest resources in the vicinity of new pulp and paper projects on endangered habitats, environment and local communities.
  • provides recommendations for producers, investors, policy makers and large volume paper buyers or retailers who are concerned about climate and deforestation risks.

The recommendations are an application of an international conservation community consensus for social and environmental transformation in the pulp and paper industry detailed in EPN’s Global Paper Vision. With these recommendations the international coalition of NGOs of EPN intends to provide measures and steps for implementing responsible and sustainable paper production, investment and purchasing.

As the 14th World Forestry Congress aims to build a new vision with a new way of thinking and acting for the future of forests and forestry in sustainable development at all levels, EPN’s hope is that this new report is a contribution to meet these goals, and it calls FAO to adopt a set of goals as ambitious as the recommendations presented by the civil society’s organizations.

EPN is also calling financial institutions to adopt investment policies which ensure that their lending and investments do not cause further deforestation or lead to disputes with indigenous peoples and local communities, adopting effective environmental and social due diligence procedures and covenants included in contracts, binding the client to comply with the bank’s sustainability requirements.

 

New film: The Future of Paper

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A new film expressing a vision for the future of paper was launched by civil society today in advance of Paper World, the paper industry gathering in Frankfurt, Germany. The film argues that as a global society we need to look at this everyday material with new eyes, and transform the way we use it to achieve a more equitable and sustainable future.

Mandy Haggith of the European Environmental Paper Network (EEPN) said, “We hope that everyone who watches the Future of Paper will value it a bit more and think again about wasteful paper use. Everyone in Europe, North America and China uses paper numerous times every day and yet we mostly take it for granted. This film will help people to make the connection between their own daily consumption and the impacts it has on forests, people, the global climate and water.”

Peter Gerhardt of German NGO denkhausbremen, said, “Current paper consumption in industrialised countries must be reduced dramatically in order to lower the pressure on forests and forest people, who suffer from the impacts of the pulp and paper industry around the world.”

Richard Wainwright of FERN, said “This film urges paper companies to rise to the realistic and achievable challenge of ensuring paper production is never to the detriment of local communities who depend on the forests for their survival.”

The film is the outcome of an international process over the past year, in which more than 140 organisations around the world have endorsed a shared Global Paper Vision. This vision describes a future in which the pulp and paper industry and all governments, financiers and consumer companies associated with the industry, have transformed to achieve sustainable production and consumption.

The film can also be watched on the Youtube Channel of the Environmental Paper Network here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n7e9yEc7FUs

For more information contact:

Mandy Haggith on +44 1571 844020 or +44 7734235704 or hag@environmentalpaper.eu

 

Why paper is a climate-change issue

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If you are worried about your individual or business carbon footprint (and you should be!) cutting your paper consumption could be a simple way to make a big reduction.

Paper is made of carbon, but the amount of actual carbon in each sheet is dwarfed by the emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere during its life cycle. Carbon emissions happen from the forests where paper is sourced, at pulp mills where it is made, through transportation, conversion into useful products and even after it has been thrown away.

All this ‘paper vapour’  adds up to significant levels, with estimates of up to 10kg of carbon emissions to each 1kg of paper use. Given that global paper consumption is just about to hit 400 million tonnes per year, this means paper’s contribution to climate change is substantial.

See here for some suggestions about how you can reduce your paper vapour.