Posts

Benefits of Community-based Natural Resource Management

Benefits of Community-based Natural Resource Management

It was in 1997 that the Community-based Natural Resource Management (CBNRM) project was established in Mozambique Africa, for the purpose of empowering local communities to assume some level of control over how their environments would be managed. This literally constituted a shift in power away from the central government, and into the hands of local authorities who are best equipped to maintain healthy natural resources and to make those resources sustainable indefinitely.

That first CBNRM conference brought together representatives from high levels of government, community members, and engineer types, who were all interested in preserving local environments. The discussions at that conference and in the four additional conferences since then, centered around how to deal with natural resources such as forests and wildlife, as well as developing or strengthening community-based organizations, and about how to add value to resources such as forest products.

Image Attribute: Image supplied by Flickr; Distributed under CC-BY 2.0 License

The most recent CBNRM conference

At the 2018 version of the CBNRM conference, it was recognized that even though the resolution was 20 years into its implementation, there was still a great deal of work to be done, and that there were still significant obstacles to achieving hoped-for results. For one thing, there are still disputes over the jurisdiction of communities, and that makes it extremely difficult to manage resources from those disputed areas. However, since most of these individual communities rely heavily on natural resources such as timber and wildlife, it is essential that all obstacles be overcome, so that communities can realize the benefits of CBNRM.

There are also conflicts over land rights, with various communities squabbling over ownership and spheres of interest. This is an extremely important point, since government agencies and donors have difficulty supporting community groups which compete for the same properties. This of course, creates a great deal of confusion about community rights to natural resources, and it causes a great deal of difficulty in sustaining those natural resources so they can be used to benefit local economies.

In an effort to help resolve some of the community conflicts, and to break up the logjam which has developed over land rights, the World Bank has stepped in to support local stakeholders and their governments. Through the Integrated Landscape and Forest Management Portfolio, a number of initiatives have been undertaken so that land rights can be resolved, land usage can be planned out into the future, reforestation can take place, land restoration can be initiated, and specific areas can be protected, while tourism is concurrently being promoted.

The future of CBNRM

There’s no question that Mozambique has yet to realize the full potential of CBNRM, but at the most recent conference, government leadership was at least made aware of the fact that local economies can be improved by transforming community development, and by protecting the natural resources associated with each community. While progress has been slow over the last 20 years, a new element of enthusiasm was very much in evidence at the most recent CBNRM conference, and it seems likely that participants will now be working together much more closely to achieve the maximum benefits under CBNRM.

Nature’s Packaging is committed to worldwide sustainable forest management practices. Forests sequester carbon from the atmosphere and when they’re sustainably managed, they’ll continue to provide valuable resources to local economies and help fight climate change.

Resources

Benefits of Community-based Natural Resource Management

Benefits of Community-based Natural Resource Management

It was in 1997 that the Community-based Natural Resource Management (CBNRM) project was established in Mozambique Africa, for the purpose of empowering local communities to assume some level of control over how their environments would be managed. This literally constituted a shift in power away from the central government, and into the hands of local authorities who are best equipped to maintain healthy natural resources and to make those resources sustainable indefinitely.

That first CBNRM conference brought together representatives from high levels of government, community members, and engineer types, who were all interested in preserving local environments. The discussions at that conference and in the four additional conferences since then, centered around how to deal with natural resources such as forests and wildlife, as well as developing or strengthening community-based organizations, and about how to add value to resources such as forest products.

Image supplied by Flickr; Distributed under CC-BY 2.0 License

The most recent CBNRM conference

At the 2018 version of the CBNRM conference, it was recognized that even though the resolution was 20 years into its implementation, there was still a great deal of work to be done, and that there were still significant obstacles to achieving hoped-for results. For one thing, there are still disputes over the jurisdiction of communities, and that makes it extremely difficult to manage resources from those disputed areas. However, since most of these individual communities rely heavily on natural resources such as timber and wildlife, it is essential that all obstacles be overcome, so that communities can realize the benefits of CBNRM.

There are also conflicts over land rights, with various communities squabbling over ownership and spheres of interest. This is an extremely important point, since government agencies and donors have difficulty supporting community groups which compete for the same properties. This of course, creates a great deal of confusion about community rights to natural resources, and it causes a great deal of difficulty in sustaining those natural resources so they can be used to benefit local economies.

Conflict resolution

In an effort to help resolve some of the community conflicts, and to break up the logjam which has developed over land rights, the World Bank has stepped in to support local stakeholders and their governments. Through the Integrated Landscape and Forest Management Portfolio, a number of initiatives have been undertaken so that land rights can be resolved, land usage can be planned out into the future, reforestation can take place, land restoration can be initiated, and specific areas can be protected, while tourism is concurrently being promoted.

The future of CBNRM

There’s no question that Mozambique has yet to realize the full potential of CBNRM, but at the most recent conference, government leadership was at least made aware of the fact that local economies can be improved by transforming community development, and by protecting the natural resources associated with each community. While progress has been slow over the last 20 years, a new element of enthusiasm was very much in evidence at the most recent CBNRM conference, and it seems likely that participants will now be working together much more closely to achieve the maximum benefits under CBNRM.

Nature’s Packaging is committed to worldwide sustainable forest management practices. Forests sequester carbon from the atmosphere and when they’re sustainably managed, they’ll continue to provide valuable resources to local economies and help fight climate change.

 

Resources

The GreenBlue Program

The GreenBlue Program

The GreenBlue Program is one which has broad support from the U.S. Forest Service, as well as public corporations such as McDonald’s, Mars, and Staples, with the stated goal of developing a new forest sustainability tool called Forests in Focus, and using it to increase sustainability and the certified supply of wood products. Forests in Focus is a digital mapping tool which will complement the initiative for certifying family-owned forests as sustainable, and as being managed with an appropriate level of respect for conservation. Nearly 40% of the commercial wood fiber produced in the U.S. comes from family-owned forests, but only about 1% of the source forests are certified for sustainability and environmental friendliness.

Image supplied by Flickr; Distributed under CC-BY 2.0 License

Problems with certification

Up to the present, certification of family-owned forests has not been so much an issue of unacceptable management processes, as it has been an issue of the certification process itself having little benefit for owners of such assets, while also being very costly to acquire. This is why the American Forest Foundation (AFF) has joined forces with the Forest Service in backing the GreenBlue Program, so as to get all the parties together, in an effort to understand the issues hindering certification.

The group has made significant progress, beginning with discussions about how to increase forest certification, and then progressing into exploring options on how to achieve greater access for monitoring, and potentially certifying, the vast lands currently belonging to the un-certified category of forest land. It has also addressed sustainability issues on the ground floor of these operations, and has hosted discussions with brand owners who cannot secure sufficient quantities of wood from certified forests.

How GreenBlue will help supply and sustainability

The partnership of big corporations, the American Forest Foundation, the U.S. Forest Service, and the Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI), is paying dividends, as participants in the joint program have identified issues with the supply chain and have gained a better understanding of the importance of family-owned forests. When added to existing initiatives for certification, support for the GreenBlue Program should help bring in many more family-owned forest lands and increase certifications dramatically.

The new digital mapping tool, Forests in Focus, will help to identify gaps in sustainability wherever family-owned forest lands exist, so that such owners can be approached and assisted with obtaining certification. The hope is to involve a great many more family-owned enterprises in the certification process, so that supply chain shortages can be relieved, and so sustainable methods can be ensured on those lands where it might not currently exist.

In order to accomplish this, a vast amount of data must be gathered, correlated, and analyzed, so that the most informed decisions can be made about where to focus attention. Information on forest status, local trends, species, size, growth rates, mortality, and harvest rates must all be aggregated for analysis, so that visual depictions of the data can be developed, and then used to maximum effect by all of the participants in the GreenBlue program.

Resources:

 

United Nations Supports Using Sustainably Sourced Wood Products

United Nations Supports Using Sustainably Sourced Wood Products

More and more organizations, businesses and even individuals are pitching in when it comes to preserving, protecting and managing forests.  The United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF) previously made headlines when they launched the UN’s first strategic plan for forests in January 2017.  The drafted Strategic Plan for Forests includes six voluntary Global Forest Goals which forest organizations hope to reach by 2030.

  • Increase forest area by 3% across the globe
  • Increase in use of forest products from sustainably managed forests
  • Implement sustainable forest management plans worldwide by 2020
  • Eliminate poverty for people dependent on forests
  • Develop new financial resources that support forest growth and conservation
  • Increase and conserve protected forest areas
  • Grow the number of countries that participate in these goals worldwide

The goals are to reverse the loss of forest cover across the globe, promote economic, social, and environmental incentives tied to forest growth, grow the percentage of sustainably managed forests worldwide, develop financial resources to attain these goals, promote frameworks that governments can use to implement these programs, and raise the efforts of cooperation of forest related issues among governments.

Nature’s Packaging is committed to the use of sustainably sourced lumber for wood packaging products. The rate of deforestation in North American forests has essentially been zero for decades, thus aiding in the goals set forth by the UNFF special session in January of 2017. Not only does using sustainably sourced lumber preserve forests but wood pallets are recyclable and recycling wood pallets helps fight climate change. Our carbon calculator estimations are based on the EPA Waste Reduction Model for dimensional lumber and it supports these facts. It shows that recycling 100 wood pallets saves 2.81 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions each month. This is the equivalent of taking 10 cars off the road! For more information visit the link below to our carbon calculator.

Resources

How do Trees Grow?

How do Trees Grow?

Wood is strong, flexible, and has been used in a variety of building applications for hundreds of years because it is safe and is a renewable resource. There are many external factors that can affect trees and thus the quality of lumber they produce.  These external factors can have significant impacts on the mechanical properties of wood and results in many dramatic changes such as a difference in density, growth rate, tree size and more.  Annual growth rings are the rings found inside the tree and these growth rings often give environmentalists the most clues as to what journey a tree experienced in its lifetime.

How do Trees Grow?

Trees grow in two directions. First, they grow upwards in order to absorb more sunlight. Then they grow outward to expand in diameter as the tree matures.  The upward and outer growth occurs at different times depending on the species of tree and the season.

The outer bark protects the tree from fluctuating temperatures, insects, diseases and is a tree’s first line of defense from its environment. When a tree is healthy then its bark remains intact, allowing the tree to defend itself from insect attacks such as the devastating mountain pine beetle epidemic.

Tree rings that are reflected in a cross-section of a tree are the lines that will reveal most about tree growth.  Each ring resembles one year of growth. They are created because trees grow faster during certain seasons and remain dormant during other seasons like winter.  These rings will differentiate in width depending on the environmental situation the tree experienced.  During heavy rainfall and good environmental conditions, the year rings will be much wider compared to drought seasons where the rings are much thinner.

In some cases, trees can take up to fifty years to reach maturity in order to be harvested for commercial use. As a tree grows it sequesters carbon from the atmosphere and that carbon is stored in the wood throughout its life cycle. The carbon forms long chains that are the backbone to cellulose, which is the primary component of lumber that helps make it a strong and durable material. Many of the products and resources we use every day arrive at our local grocery stores by means of a wood pallet. Wood pallets are a safe, durable, and sustainable way to transport goods and materials needed across the world.

References

A Quick Take on the Growth Cycle of Trees

A Quick Take on the Growth Cycle of Trees

Trees within forests are like wind and solar power in that they are a renewable resource. Whereas wind and solar energy can be regenerated relatively continuously, trees require more time to convert solar energy to wood so it can be utilized. In this article we’ll take a quick look at a tree’s growth cycle.

Tree seedlings will often wait for ideal environmental conditions to arise before sprouting.  Some species of tree seeds will remain intact for many years, waiting for the perfect environment, while others will only sprout under extreme conditions such as a forest fire. Only when the seeds are exposed to the right conditions will they sprout.

A seedling will appear above the ground and the first two leaves will start to absorb sunlight to provide energy for further growth. Seedlings will then start developing woody characteristics and will continue to grow and seek out the sun. Saplings are usually 1 – 4 inches in diameter and about 4.5 feet in height.  Many nurseries will sell saplings at this point in the tree’s growth cycle because they are capable of being transplanted with a high survival rate.

It is during the early growth phases of a tree’s life that it absorbs the most amount of carbon. During the process of photosynthesis, young trees convert carbon dioxide to breathable oxygen and use the carbon internally for growth. When hundreds of thousands of trees within a forest complete this process simultaneously, they fight global warming by reducing the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

About half of any given piece of lumber’s net weight is carbon that was sequestered from the atmosphere and lumber will continue to store that carbon until it naturally disintegrates or is burned for energy. No part of a tree goes to waste! The bark and branches are used for supplies like garden mulch and animal bedding whereas the lower quality of lumber from a tree is used to make wood pallets. According to the research article “Pallet Re-Use and Recycling Saves High Value Material from Landfills,” there are about 4 billion wood pallets in circulation just in the United States. Wood pallets have been used for decades and have established themselves as the safest and most reliable way to transport goods and services while storing carbon sequestered from the atmosphere.

References

Mars Corp Creates a Sustainable Plan

Mars Corp Creates a Sustainable Plan

Our world’s natural sources are limited and more big businesses seem to be taking the initiative to lower their environmental impact, preserving these limited, valuable resources.  Mars Corp. recently launched their Sustainable in a Generation Plan that is intended to create a healthier planet by doing what’s right instead of what’s better.

Who is the Mars Corporation?

Image supplied by Pixabay distributed under CC-BY 2.0 License

The Mars Corporation was developed by Frank C. Mars more than 100 years ago.  Their first products were in chocolate and the first brand they established was Milky Way.  Over the years, the company has developed and grown tremendously and they have expanded to many other industries, including pet care, chewing gum, and beverages.  The Mars Corporation distributes products worldwide with more than 80,000 associates, they impact the lives of hundreds of thousands of people.

Sustainable in Generation

Mars Corp launched a huge plan of action called Sustainable in Generation.  According to their website, their plan involves creating a better planet by using a planetary boundaries analysis to control the impact their business has on the world.  Some of their goals are:

  • Stop all greenhouse gas emissions by 2040
  • Control all resources for sustainability by 2020
  • Reduce impacts on Water Use
  • Reduce impacts on Land Use

Recycling Wood Pallets Reduces Carbon Emissions

Wood pallets are commonly used in food transportation, food storage and for many more uses.  This is a good thing because using sustainably sourced lumber helps the environment. As trees in sustainably managed forests grow, they absorb carbon from the atmosphere and wood continues to store carbon until it decomposes or burns. In fact, according to our Carbon Calculator that’s based on the EPA’s Waste Reduction Model (WARM) for dimensional lumber, recycling just 100 wood pallets saves 2.81 carbon dioxide emissions per month (in metric tons). This is the equivalent of taking 10 cars off the road!

Go for the Win-Win

According to the Mars website, Barry Parkin, the Chief Sustainability and Health & Wellbeing Officer, believes there are four things that sets this approach apart from others:

  1. Do What’s Right Instead of What’s Better
  2. Go for the Win-Win
  3. Uncommon Collaborations
  4. Amplify the Impact

The North American wood pallet industry started recycling pallets in the 1970’s by diverting them from landfills. Current figures estimate there are more than 4 billion wood pallets in circulation, more than any other type of pallet, because wood pallets are strong, durable, and 100% recyclable. In fact, about half of a wood pallet’s weight is carbon, which was sequestered from the atmosphere! The use of wood pallets is a win-win because it helps the environment and ensures products will arrive at their final destination safely.

 

Resources

Illegal Logging Stopped In Its Tracks

Illegal Logging Stopped In Its Tracks

Illegal logging is a serious issue that has a tremendous impact on the timber industry and our world’s natural wood resources.  It is believed that illegal logging is one of the leading causes for the degradation of the world’s forests.  Luckily IoT based technology might just change the effects of illegal logging and could even save our forests entirely.

Image supplied by Pixabay distributed under CC-BY 2.0 License

The revolutionary IoT-based technology

Scientists from the Institute of Wood Science and Technology (IWST) in Bengaluru have been hard at work addressing this problem. Their revolutionary system functions through the Internet of Things (IoT) technology.  The system involves installing a small device on high-value trees like sandalwood, rosewood and more.  The device is designed to send an alert whenever the tree endures any threats.  These threats can include cutting, chopping or uprooting the tree and the device.

Instant messaging the moment trouble arises

Using instant message technology, officials are notified through a special alert that is sent through the cloud from the IoT devices whenever disturbances are noticed in particular trees.  This is an astronomical advancement for forest lovers and protectors because it means that they will be able to capture culprits in action and could prevent a lot of trees from being cut off.

Trials in India

More than 45 sensors have already been installed at the campus of Malleswaram and these sensors are already supplying forest protectors and scientists with valuable information.  The Malleswarm campus plans on installing many more sensors in the near future and hopefully all forests will enjoy protection from these tech devices in the near future.

Forests are Carbon Sinks

The effects of illegal logging are devastating to our planet. According to the World Carfree Network, deforestation accounts for up to 15% of global carbon emissions. Forests are valuable resources and can be illegally logged for their resources or cleared so the land can be used for agricultural development. When forests thrive, they consume more carbon than they produce and are known as carbon sinks. When forests decay, they are a carbon source.

With the devastating effects of illegal logging the FDD and other forestry services are keeping their fingers crossed for speedily advancement of the IoT-based tech as well as similar anti-logging solutions that will prevent illegal deforestation.  If illegal loggers are faced with immediate consequences for their actions then we could hopefully see a tremendous reduction in illegal logging occurrences.

Nature’s Packaging supports North American wood packaging industries as sustainable as lumber harvested from North American forests is sustainably sourced. Sustainably managed forests are good for the environment as healthy forests sequester carbon from the atmosphere to fight global warming.

References

© 2021 Nature's Packaging® is federally registered with the U.S. Copyright Office by the National Wooden Pallet & Container Association. All rights reserved.