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Thursday, 28th July 2011

Pandering to the loggers: Why WWFs Global Forest and Trade Network isnt working

Source: Global Witness

From Executive Summary:

Time is running out to protect the world’s forests. Half have already been destroyed and just 20 per cent of what remains is intact. Each year an area of forest almost twice the size of Ireland completely disappears, while much larger areas are subjected to logging, leaving them vulnerable to further destruction. Protecting the world’s remaining intact forest, and transforming how vulnerable forests are managed, is crucial to sustaining the livelihoods of forest- dependent people, preserving biodiversity and preventing further increases in forest carbon emissions.

The World Wide Fund for Nature’s (WWF) Global Forest and Trade Network (GFTN) is one of the world’s largest schemes to promote trade in legal and sustainable timber products. It has not been without controversy, facing frequent criticisms regarding the practices of some GFTN member companies ... Despite this, the scheme has never, in Global Witness’s opinion, been adequately evaluated in terms of its rules, operation, membership and, crucially, its impact on forests.

In this, GFTN’s 20th anniversary year, Global Witness undertook a basic evaluation of the operation and effectiveness of the scheme. This assessment found serious systemic problems, including a lack of transparency and accountability, wholly inadequate rules for membership, instances of weak performance, monitoring and enforcement and an absence of adequate procedures to assess whether the scheme is actually making a positive contribution to forest sustainability.

+ Direct link to Report (PDF; 4 MB)

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Having begun his career in academic libraries, Adrian Janes has subsequently worked extensively in public libraries, chiefly in enquiry work as an Information Services librarian. In this role he has had particular responsibility for information from both the UK Government and the European Union. He wrote a detailed report on sources for the latter which was published by FreePint in 2007, and has contributed articles to FreePint and ResourceShelf. He is involved in training in information literacy and the use of online reference resources.

A Contributing Editor to DocuTicker, he also write reviews for Pennyblackmusic.

Adrian can be reached at adrian.janes@freepint.com

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