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November 1, 2019 News, Sustainability Tips

“The restoration of trees remains among the most effective strategies for climate change mitigation.”

(Bastin et al. 2019)

Why are trees important?

  • After oceans, forests are the planet’s greatest storehouse of carbon
  • Forests are habitats (for 80% of the world’s on-land biodiversity)
  • Forests form the source of livelihood for many human settlements, including 60 million indigenous people
  • Forests provide jobs to more than 13 million people across the world.

Source: WWF 2019

Canada has +78.4 million hectares of land that could be used for tree reforestation (does not include urban and agricultural areas).

How are trees under threat?

Threats to the Rainforests

Deforestation for agriculture (primarily beef, soy, and palm oil)

Forest fire caused by human activity

Harvesting of wood as a resource (timber, paper products)

The Amazon Rainforest accounts for 25% of the total carbon (2.4 billion metric tons) absorbed by forests each year.

Source: The Washington Post 2019

Threats to Canadian forests

Forest fire caused by human activity

Invasive Species

Harvesting of wood as a resource (timber, paper products)

WHAT CAN WE DO?

Opt for beef raised in Canada

The greatest reason for deforestation in the Amazon rainforest is clearing for cattle ranching. Purchasing beef that has been raised in Canada provides greater assurance of the agircultural practises, and also supports local community and economy.

Refrain from buying products containing palm oil 

The majority of the world’s palm oil is produced in Malaysia and Indonesia. The demand for agicultural land for palm oil production has resulted in vast deforestation of the countries’ rainforests.

Palm oil is in countless products, from candy bars to margarine to lipstick. Make sure to read labels to see which products contain palm oil and its derivitives (a.k.a palm kernel oil, palmate, palmitate).

Volunteer or donate

There are many efforts occuring at both the local and global level that are takingn action on and making real progress towards forest conservation, afforestation, and restoration.

Look for these labels when buying: Coffee – Tea – Cocoa 

Rainforest Alliance Certified

Farms meet sustainability requirements, including standards on biodiversity conservation, human livelihoods and well-being, natural resources conservation, and effective planning and farm management systems. 

The Rainforest Alliance, an international non-profit organization. 

Fairtrade

Farmers are given fair prices and workers provided with decent working and living conditions

Certified by FLOCERT, an independent thirdparty certification body and ISO65 accredited

Bird-Friendly

Coffee farms follow specific ecologically sustainable methods, are 100% organic, and shade grown (providing bird habitat)

Certified by Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center

What are third-party certifications and why are they important?

  • Unbiased, objective rating systems that required products and operations to meet certain standard in order to achieve certification.
  • Provide assurance that certain standards have been met, especially when the consumer is many steps removed from the product source.
  • Not as relevant for small-scale, local operations, due to cost-barriers and also due to easier access to information regarding products and operations.

Canada Organic

Products contain 95% or greater organic ingredients (produced without the use of conventional pesticides or synthetic fertilizers).

Certified by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

Look for these labels when buying: Paper and Wood Products

Forest Stewardship Council Certified

Products are made from responsible sources and have been verified to meet certain environmental and social standards.

The Forest Stewardship Council is an international non-profit, multi-stakeholder organization established in 1993 to promote responsible management of the world’s forests.

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