Voices of Hope for Forests

 

 

This new photo series features humans of the world – all working together to protect forests and communities as part of the Environmental Paper Network. The recent IPCC climate report shares a grim forecast for the future of humanity, but these individuals are undeterred, and are bringing forward collaboration and solutions that deliver the forest protection and restoration needed to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. 

Why are they building an international movement to match the scale of the problem? What are the sources of inspiration that sustain them? Is there hope?  The Climate Listening Project hopes these stories inspire you and others to find the strength and actions to participate in the global cooperation that humanity needs right now. 

Bolivia

“We still have a chance to conserve and protect our forests. When something unifies people, like the love of forests, it gives us the chance to work together toward a common ideal.”

– Cecilia Alcoreza, WWF

Cecilia leads the Sustainable Paper and Packaging work in WWF’s Global Forest Practice. She provides leadership and strategic orientation to WWF’s partners to improve sustainability with respect to pulp, paper and packaging on responsible sourcing, transparency and forest management practices. WorldWildlife.org

 

U.S.A.

“I often reflect on the many threats that forests face, but I know we have a lot of solutions at our fingertips. I am hopeful to reach that point in time where the scales tip in favor of rapid action throughout the world.”

Joshua Axelrod, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC)   

Joshua and NRDC’s Canada Project are working to protect the boreal forest of Canada for their carbon storage and their biodiversity, including the threatened mountain Caribou, and to support the legal rights of First Nations. NRDC.org

 

China

“Without human beings, forests can still thrive, but without forests, no humans can live in this world. We live in this world together with the forests and we need to have a sustainable forest for a sustainable future. This is something for you, for me, for everybody.”

– Yong Rong, Greenpeace East Asia

Yong Rong and Greenpeace East Asia are helping Chinese society support solutions to climate change, stop toxic pollution, ensure food security, end illegal deforestation, and defend the oceans. Greenpeace.org.cn

Italy

“I love forests. Forests are not just the trees, it’s life, it’s peoples way of life, it’s the complexity of all life together.”

– Sergio Baffoni, EPN – International

Sergio coordinates the Indonesia Rainforest Campaign with a goal to support and amplify the work of local communities and protect the bio-diverse and carbon-rich Indonesian rainforests from destructive exploitation by the pulp and paper industry. The campaign is convened by the Environmental Paper Network and is working with around 50 national and international organisations. EnvironmentalPaper.org

U.S.A.

“There remain incredible threats to our forests worldwide, but there has been a lot of progress. There are folks paying attention to forests that never used to have any clue. And people from all different backgrounds love forests. Forests bring people together. One of the reasons I do what I do is for my children and preserving their ability to experience that awe inspiring wonder that only happens when you’re in a forest.”

– Amy Moas, Greenpeace USA

Amy and Greenpeace are currently being sued by a Canadian timber company for $3.3 million related to their efforts to shine a light on industrial logging in critical habitat for mountain caribou and conflicts with First Nations in the boreal forest. Greenpeace.us

 

Mozambique

“It is very interesting for me to see forests around the world because things are very different compared to Mozambique as far as conservation and preservation. It’s important to have an international experience.”

– António Francisco Geraldo Gaveta, Academic Action for the Development of Rural Communities

In Mozambique, António and Adecru are carrying out community workshops, research, campaigns and documentation to address challenges from land development by foreign investors, including eucalyptus pulp plantations, and to support rural communities to be informed, empowered and active. ADECRU.wordpress.com

Russia

“From my childhood, I wanted to protect forests. It is difficult to get success in environmental issues but we have victories. Working internationally is the only way to solve environmental problems.”

– Andrey Laletin, Friends of the Siberian Forests

Andrey and the Friends of Siberian Forests have a mission to preserve Russia’s unique forest landscape, with a focus on Siberia, carrying out their work despite currently dangerous conditions for environmental activists that criticize the government.

 

Tasmania

“Forests nurture me. Forests have been so important to us in Tasmania. It’s important to work together around the world to protect forests because we all bring different skills, different knowledge, different ways of looking at things, and together we are more than the sum of our parts. We can be so effective when we collaborate together, rush to each other’s assistance, and say I’ll come with you.”

– Peg Putt, Australian Forests & Climate Alliance

Peg has campaigned for forests for 35 years, earning a place on the Tasmanian Honor Roll of Women for Service to the Environment, and currently works to ensure the relationship between forests and climate change is addressed by the international community in a scientifically sound manner, and that solutions respect indigenous and community rights. ForestsandClimate.org.au

 

Germany

“I still have hope for the forest! Because we have such a strong motivation and the power to convince more people to reduce resources and love and protect forests.”

– Monika Nolle, ARA

Monika founded ARA in 1987 with other students in Germany to support biodiversity conservation and the safeguarding of human rights globally, and currently dedicates herself to global education and marketplace campaigns for fair, reduced and sustainable consumption/production. ARAonline.de

 

U.S.A.

“I am really grateful for expanding perspectives around the world and the work being done to protect forests. People are coming together around solutions and looking for ways to use our collective voice. I see creativity, wisdom, and intention that gives me hope for a more sustainable future.”

– Beth Porter, Green America

Beth and Green America are accelerating leadership in the business community on climate change, recycling and paper use efficiency and she is the author of a new book, “Reduce, Recycle, Reimagine: Sorting Out the Recycling System.” GreenAmerica.org

Paraguay

“Forest conservation policies are human rights policies. Forest policies that are socially-just can strive for recognition of rights of indigenous peoples, local communities, and women.”

– Simone Lovera-Bilderbeek, Global Forest Coalition

Simone serves as Director of the Global Forest Coalition, an international coalition of NGOs and Indigenous Peoples’ Organizations defending social justice and the rights of forest peoples in forest policies. She participates in international forest policy meetings and organizes joint advocacy campaigns on issues such as Indigenous Peoples’ rights, the need for socially-just forest policy and addressing the underlying root causes of forest loss. GlobalForestCoalition.org/en

China

“I was a nature lover when I was a child, but I always wanted to do something for world peace. I realized one thing we can do for world peace is to protect the environment. We can start with local actions, and by helping our local area, together we can protect the entire earth.”

– Wen Bo, China Environmental Paper Network

Wen Bo and the CEPN are researching the impacts of skyrocketing Chinese paper consumption on tropical forests and wildlife and promoting efficient paper use by Chinese society. EnvironmentalPaper.cn

U.S.A.

“In the forest I reflect on the noises that I hear, the little bugs, the birds, the peace in the leaves rustling or the stream flowing. It’s a stark contrast to clear-cut forests where there is nothing, a dead devoid of any sound where life once was. The sound has been sucked out of a magical place. In the forest, I can feel life pumping inside of me.”  

– Rita Frost, Dogwood Alliance

Rita and the Dogwood Alliance are supporting communities in the southern United States resisting the rapid expansion of industrial scale, climate-polluting biomass energy and wood pellet production to meet EU’s green energy mandates, which mistakenly encourage burning trees from forests. DogwoodAlliance.org

Scotland

“It’s important for me to express wonder, both in the sense of saying ‘wow look at that!’ and also in the sense of asking questions about the natural world. When you get groups of people together, the group process of having discussions takes such questions in new and different directions. There’s a way of wondering that a group of people can do that gets you further and deeper into places that you can’t get to alone.”

– Mandy Haggith, EPN – International

Mandy is an author and activist who once traveled the globe in 2006 to find out where all the paper we use comes from, resulting in the book Paper Trails: From Trees to Trash – The True Cost of Paper. She is an international organizer of collaboration on priority forest protection campaigns amongst the global environmental community and works to reduce wasteful paper consumption in nations that use far more than their sustainable share. EnvironmentalPaper.org

Canada

“The big trees and ancient forests of the West Coast inspire me and give me hope. My father, a professor of forestry and remote sensing at the University of British Columbia, introduced me to these forests when I was young. From that moment, I knew forests of all origins played a vital role for species, people and our climate. I also knew these big trees should not go into disposable paper products.”

– Neva Murtha, Canopy 

Neva and Canopy’s Second Harvest campaign are developing the market for agricultural residue paper from wheat straw to diversify the fiber basket and avoid the need for extraction from ancient and endangered forests. CanopyPlanet.org

 

England

“I used to work in development aid with Oxfam and more and more we were seeing that the causes of the social problems we were trying to deal with were environmental. So, I looked for a job where I could work on environmental and social aspects combined. The environment is important for people because humans are badly affected by climate change and other such crises. People are important for the environment because we’ve always been part of the ecosystem, and although some people are presently destroying forests, it is also people who have protected forests for thousands of years.”

Richard Wainwright, Fern

Richard and Fern work to achieve environmental and social justice with a focus on forests and forest peoples’ rights in the policies and practices of the European Union. Fern.org

Indonesia

“I see very clearly that the impact of deforestation is strong in my place – it’s impacting the people, their livelihoods, social relations, fires, haze, disasters, and causing the loss of biodiversity. This is complex, but I hope we can improve this situation for the people, for the communities, and for the forest itself.”

– Woro Supartinah, Jikalahari    

Woro is the International Focal Point for Jikalahari, a network supporting communities across Riau province in Sumatra to resist exploitation by the pulp and the palm oil industries and support alternative models of community led agriculture and economic development. Jikalahari.or.id

 

Join our movement for a pulp and paper industry that contributes to a safe, healthy, just, and sustainable future for all life on earth. Your support will help our global network achieve this goal.