Mondi Group, one of the leading global packaging and paper companies and the International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO) have signed a three-year partnership to identify science-based viable responses to climate-related threats to forests and forest-based industries.
This partnership comes at a time when drought, extreme weather events and outbreaks of forest pests and diseases are causing severe damage to forests in many parts of the world. Joining forces to mitigate the impact of climate change is vital for people’s wellbeing, biodiversity, the economy, and the forest industry.
The forest sector plays a significant role in tackling climate change and contributing to sustainable development worldwide, as formulated in the United Nations 2030 Agenda.
According to Mondi, climate change requires a broad discussion among policymakers and stakeholders on how future forest landscapes could meet both the supply needs of the industry and the provision of multiple ecosystem services provided by forests. This broad discussion must be supported by the best available scientific knowledge to build resilient forests.
The IUFRO-Mondi partnership aims to establish a science-business platform where both organizations will partner to address climate change challenges and identify ways forward for the broader forestry and business community to ensure a sustainable future.
The focus of the partnership will include think tank meetings that provide information on and access to the latest data on climate change and SDGs and identify options for response measures to mitigate risks; stakeholder dialogues to share and discuss findings of studies, and engage partners and public, private, and civil society stakeholders to identify pathways and options for the way forward; scientific studies, workshops; and regular communications to facilitate best practice sharing.
‘With around 80 percent of our business fiber-based, we consider sustainability across the entire value chain, including a strong focus on renewable wood fiber from sustainably managed forest operations,’ said Dirk Längin, group head of fiber sourcing at Mondi and co-chair of the IUFRO-Mondi Partnership Steering Group. ‘Our partnership with IUFRO will allow us to actively collaborate with the scientific community in a structured way to address climate change challenges, gain broad access to research, and convert this into practical applications and improved operations. This gained know-how will also enable us to share our insight with other sectors and industries to mobilize change collaboratively so that we can all contribute to a better world.’
Alexander Buck, executive director of IUFRO and co-chair of the IUFRO-Mondi Partnership Steering Group, added: ‘IUFRO’s vision is to serve the needs of forest-related research and decision making worldwide. To be able to do so, it is essential for scientists to also effectively identify and address information requirements of business and industry to develop science-based solutions. Our partnership with Mondi is the outcome of continued cooperation since 2017 and underscores our strong commitment to the important role of forest-related business and science in advancing action towards sustainable development.’