Underlying our overall approach to our business is responsible, sustainable forestry. For Mondi, this means consistently considering the productive capability, biological integrity and community needs of the forests that we own and manage, and from which we source the majority of our fibre needs.
The maintenance of ecosystem services such as recreation, health and wellbeing, timber and non-timber resources, biological diversity and the mitigation of climate change are increasingly recognised as integral components of sustainable forest management. Forests also provide livelihoods for people, and contribute to the economic, social and cultural lives of many indigenous communities.
Ecosystem degradation and biodiversity loss is a significant global concern and industry, including commercial forestry, can have a negative impact on biodiversity. The main global concerns related to forests and biodiversity are:
- deforestation through illegal logging and the conversion of natural forests to agricultural crops or plantations;
- loss of protected and high conservation value (HCV) areas; and
- loss of species and habitat biodiversity supported by natural forests.
We are not party to deforestation. For every tree that is felled in our plantation forests, at least one other is planted. In 2013, over 35 million new trees were planted by the Group (2012: 31 million). In our natural forests, felled areas are encouraged to regenerate naturally and poor regeneration is supplemented with plantings. Mondi is not involved in illegal logging and has strict fibre sourcing requirements. We do not use illegal wood, including mixed tropical hardwood species or other Convention of International Trade on Endangered Species species. We use no wood from genetically modified (GM) trees, nor do we grow GM crops. In 2013, 26% of our owned and leased land was set aside for conservation purposes.
Boreal forests in Komi, Russia
Global issues around boreal forests include illegal logging, the felling of intact pristine forests and other HCV areas, and felling in a way that does not mimic the natural dynamics of the boreal system which is a necessary condition for maintaining biodiversity. Natural boreal forests can be harvested on a sustainable basis and even enhanced through sound silviculture practices supported by Forest Stewardship Council™ FSC™ certification.
Sustainable forestry in boreal forests means protecting valuable habitats, especially HCV intact forests, and carrying out forestry operations in a way that mimics the natural forest dynamics that maintain biodiversity. We are guided by the Russian Forestry Code and (FSC™) standards, ensuring the retention of seed trees, promoting the effective re-establishment of boreal forests, and preserving important natural ecosystems such as riparian and wetland systems.
Plantation forests in South Africa
We manage our South African plantation forests for sustainable and/or increasing yields, supported by intensive breeding programmes, based on a wide genetic base, carefully situated in the landscape to maintain functioning ecosystems and biodiversity, and offer protection to HCV areas – including grasslands and wetlands. We continually improve on our cultivation methods, and endeavour to eradicate invasive species and control pests and diseases using non-harmful techniques. We are committed to the new generation plantation (NGP) concept which promotes the design and management of sustainable plantations, and participate in the WWF’s global NGP project.
A sustainable plantation forest aims to maintain ecosystem functionality at a landscape level, protect and enhance high conservation value areas, enhance local welfare and be financially profitable.
Achieving sustainable plantation forests
To achieve this we:
- identify and protect natural high conservation value areas such as wetlands, grasslands and natural forests and, where practical, link these areas as effective ecological networks to enhance their biodiversity value;
- consider the social values of forests and associated ecosystems;
- fully respect the rights of indigenous people and communities;
- engage in stakeholder dialogue; and
- practise resource efficient forestry operations.
Our plantation forests comprise the main commercial temperate and sub-tropical eucalyptus, pine and acacia species and their associated hybrids. None of these are Convention of International Trade on Endangered Species (CITES) species or are classified on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature Red List of Threatened Species as vulnerable, endangered or critically endangered.