Westminster celebrates a New Generation of forests

by | Jun 24, 2017 | Featured Slider, Latest, News

Foresters from around the globe were welcomed to Westminster this week for a reception to celebrate 10 years of WWF’s New Generation Plantations initiative. The event was part of the tenth annual encounter of WWF’s New Generation Plantations platform (NGP).

Confor is proud to support and be involved in the organisation of this week-long series of meetings and field visits in London and Edinburgh.

The NGP participants were welcomed to the Palace of Westminster by Chris Davies MP Chairman of Confor’s All-Party Parliamentary Group on Forestry, “It is great to see UK organisations like Confor working with international NGOs like WWF. There is a need in the UK for more trees, but we want to plant those in a way that benefits local people and the environment, as well as produce timber for industry. This is a global challenge, and processes like this help us to work with other countries to find some of the solutions”.

The NGP tenth annual encounter is looking at how planted forests can help reduce illegal logging and help mitigate the problems of climate change.

“The UK is the 3rd largest importer of forest products in the world, and we are struggling to meet our planting targets for new productive woodlands”, said Andrew Heald, technical director of Confor. “It is essential that we learn from other countries in how to sustainably establish & expand forestry cover.”

“Listening to the other delegates, we can share best practice and develop forestry projects which maintain ecosystem integrity, are developed with stakeholder involvement and contribute to economic growth and employment” said Andrew.

This was echoed by Estevão Braga (Sustainability Business Intelligence Manager for Suzano, Brazil): “NGP is the best opportunity to show society that well managed plantations, can bring substantial benefits both socially and environmentally, and fight climate change, in a way that few other industries can do. This meeting is a great opportunity to share best practices with leading plantation companies from all over the world.”

NGP was founded at a meeting in Edinburgh 10 years ago, by a small group of forest product companies working together with WWF, to help improve plantation forestry management. The platform has grown over the years and is now the foremost dialogue platform for knowledge sharing and debate on the challenges of land use and forestry plantations. This NGP think piece outlines the issues that are to be discussed this week in London and Edinburgh, and a comprehensive NGP e-book was has now been launched.