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.
- 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.