In Our material issues within a global context we discussed how land-use change can have adverse impacts on our natural and social systems and how we are not only affected by these changes but can also be a part of the solutions.
Ecosystem degradation and biodiversity loss through deforestation and illegal logging, growing competition for land for food, bio-energy crops and livestock, coupled with increasing rural poverty and a decline in rural populations are just some of the world-wide challenges that affect our industry.
Forests are an essential component of life, supplying wood, fibre and non-timber forest products to humanity, and providing an extensive range of ecosystem services. Forests serve as habitats for two-thirds of terrestrial animal and plant species; prevent soil erosion and water run-off; maintain the chemical balance of soil, air and water; recycle nutrients; break down pollutants; clean air and water; are vital to watershed protection and soil formation; and play a major role in regulating climate.
Our business and ecosystem services are inextricably linked. Our forestry practices have an impact on ecosystems and their regulatory (climate and water regulation, food control, waste disposal) and provisioning services (fresh water, fibre, food). Equally, we and our communities depend on ecosystems.