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.
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.
– 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
“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 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.
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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 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.
“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 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
“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 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.
“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
“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
– 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
“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
“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
“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 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.
“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.”
“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