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  • Air Quality & Emissions Show (AQE) Air Quality
    Air Quality & Emissions Show (AQE)

    View live vehicle emissions data at AQE 2018

    Visitors to next week's Air Quality & Emissions Show (AQE 2018) in Telford will be able to view live emissions data from vehicles travelling on a road close to the Telford International Centre, where the event will take place (21-22nd Nov.) Ricardo plc, a global strategic engineering and environmental consultancy, will operate the monitoring equipment, providing a live feed into their AQE exhibition stand number No. 74.

  • ABB Laboratory, Monitoring, Process & Analytical
    ABB

    ABB to exhibit latest technologies for water and air monitoring at WWEM & AQE 2018 shows

    ABB's new AquaMaster flowmeter and Dynamic QR code remote assistance tool for air quality systems to feature at WWEM & AQE 2018 shows

  • Jacopa Water
    Jacopa

    Jacopa Strengthens Stormwater Solutions

    Wastewater solutions specialist Jacopa has reached a landmark agreement with German water technology systems expert Steinhardt GmbH as the sole agent for its wide range of flood and process protection products in the UK and Ireland.

  • EMEX 2018 Trade Shows & Conferences
    EMEX 2018

    EMEX, the Energy Management Exhibition, taking place on the 21st and 22nd of November at ExCeL London will have a stellar line-up of speakers and exhibitors.

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Thursday, 19 July 2018 08:43

Tropical forest biodiversity at risk due to secrecy of many companies

Efforts to monitor and manage the impacts of the tropical forestry sector are being hindered, due to many companies failing to accurately disclose where they operate – leaving biodiverse forests at risk of unsustainable exploitation. This is just one finding of an in-depth evaluation of forestry companies, published by ZSL - the Zoological Society of London.

JCM logging operations-Suhuma CZSL copyIn assessing 50 of the world's most significant tropical timber and pulp producers, ZSL's SPOTT (Sustainability Policy Transparency Toolkit) found that most are failing to publish accurate maps of their operations. With 2017 the second worst year on record for tropical tree cover loss, ZSL say the forestry sector must now move to publish maps that support independent monitoring of corporate commitments targeted at addressing risks to forests.

ZSL's SPOTT assessments cover timber and pulp producers with combined land holdings of over 350,000 square kilometres, an area the size of Germany. In the latest annual assessments, only eight companies were found to publish clear and comprehensive maps of their forestry operations, while 27 companies disclosed incomplete information.

A further 15 companies do not provide any suitable maps of their operations, meaning the location of over 45,000 square kilometres – or over six million football pitches – of forestry operations remains unclear.

Mjukuu and baby Gernot Western lowland Gorillas CZSL copyTo increase accountability, ZSL state the tropical forestry sector should freely publish digitised maps that allow the exact locations and boundaries of their operations to be identified. Certification schemes such as the FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) and PEFC (Programme for Endorsement of Forestry Certification) should also take steps to encourage the publication of certified companies' mapped boundaries.

Chris Eves, ZSL Forestry Officer said: "A lack of spatial data pinpointing where forestry companies are operating makes it difficult for third parties to fully assess their impacts on the world's remaining tropical forest. Certification schemes including the FSC and PEFC have a vital role to play in ensuring forest products are sustainably sourced. They can lead the way by making the publication of such information a requirement."

Burned and intact forest areas in Air Hitam Laut Sumatra. Copyright Ahmad Faisal ZSL copyAs the only forestry sector assessment of its kind, SPOTT scores companies against over 100 environmental, social and governance (ESG) indicators that measure company transparency. Issues covered by the assessments include biodiversity conservation, greenhouse gas emissions, land conflicts, and labour rights. The 2018 results emphasise the pressing need for improved transparency across the board: on average, companies scored just 31%. Only five of the 50 companies assessed, demonstrated higher levels of transparency (scoring more than 66%).

Other key findings from the 2018 SPOTT assessments include inadequate commitments to conserve biodiversity within company concessions, putting Critically Endangered species such as the Sumatran tiger (Panthera tigris sumatrae) and Western gorilla (Gorilla gorilla) at risk. Over a third of forestry companies assessed by ZSL lack a full commitment to conserve biodiversity, whilst over half are failing to disclose whether they have set aside any of their land for the benefit of wildlife.

Robert-Alexandre Poujade, ESG Analyst at BNP Paribas Asset Management, said: "Responsible investors and banking institutions are increasingly aware of the impact that unsustainable commodity production can have on forests globally. Tools relying on satellite imagery are already proving crucial in tracking deforestation, but the loop can only be closed when companies publicly disclose the exact location of their operations."

Full details of all 50 timber and pulp producers assessed on SPOTT can be found here: www.spott.org/timber-pulp