Building a Forest Positive Future: Strategies for Nature, Climate and People

Building a Forest Positive Future: Strategies for Nature, Climate and People


(gentle music) – It’s my pleasure for this my second time as Dean to introduce the Hall Lecture. I’m David Ackerly, Dean of the College of Natural Resources wonderful to see current faculty students and alumni and old friends and guests. Very pleased to be here
with you all this evening and looking forward to
our talk by Kerry Cesareo. But before I introduce her,
I wanna just say a little bit about the background
of the lecture series. The S. J. Hall lecture series,
is name for Showard J. Hall. He acquired his Bachelor’s
of Science and forestry from New York State University
at Syracuse in 1920. And went on to join
the forestry profession as a consultant in the south for the James D. Lacey Company. In 1931, he formed Forest Managers Inc, where he both managed forest and advised other forest land owners. One of his clients was J. C. Penney whom he aided in sculpting barren land into a forest at home
for a retirement center. Hall played a major
role in the development of industrial forestry in the south, before moving to the west in 1948. And then he moved into the West in 1948, where he was one of the first
to recognize the potential of the West Coast young
growth timbers towns. Hall and two partners
acquired a 27,000 acre cut over Redwood tract, establishing the Gualala Redwoods company. The company quickly emerged as a leader in the industrial management
of young growth Redwood land, practicing sustained yield forestry. Upon Hall’s death in 1968,
his widow Mrs. Dessie Hall moved to create the Forest
Economics Foundation to advance the understanding and practice of sound economic principles
among forestry students. Later that year, she established
the S. J. Hall lectureship and Industrial Forestry
and the S. J. Hall chair in Forest Economics here at UC Berkeley. Professor Matthew Pots
is the current S. J. Hall distinguished Professor
and he is here with us, Matthew, raise your hand. Matthew, thank you. Hall felt strongly that
economic understanding is basic to effective
forestry into a strong nation. It’s in keeping with that sentiment that we hold this annual lecture. Berkeley will be able to hold
this annual event and continue to support our world renowned programs and forest management
economics in perpetuity, thanks to the generosity and
foresight of Dessie Hall, and the beautiful thing called
endowments that last forever. (audience laughing) This afternoon, I would like
to welcome and recognize members of the Hall
family who have made it their tradition to participate
in this annual event. Dessie’s daughter Susan Hall is here with her nephew, Kenneth Hall. And Ken’s wife Patty. Kenneth is Dessie Hall’s grandson. So welcome all of you and
thank you for being here again to be with us. So a couple announcements
following the lecture. You’re all invited to join
us at an open reception here on the patio outside,
on this lovely afternoon following the reception,
there’s a private dinner. Many of you are part of the private dinner for the alumni, for the California alumni forester members and their guests. And so after the reception,
come back in here, we’ll reset this room for dinner. So dinner will be here
right here in this room. Also, there will be a q&a session though before after the talk before
we go on to the reception. During the Q and A
session I just asked you, I’ll remind you to use the microphone, this is all being recorded
and we really wanna hear the questions as well as the answers. So just be patient while we
pass the microphone around. All right, last as usual announcement is to silence your cell phones. Our speaker this afternoon
is Kerry Cesareo, Senior Vice President of
Forests at World Wildlife Fund, Kerry leads a portfolio
of strategic initiatives in pursuit of WWF school to conserve the world’s most important forests. WWF is using an innovative financial model to ensure forest protected
areas are properly managed, strengthening laws to stop illegal logging and scaling efforts to address threats to forest from agricultural expansion and infrastructure development. In 2006, Kerry successfully launched the North American program of WWF’s Global Forest
and Trade Network GFTN, forging partnerships
with PNG, Kimberly Clark, Walmart, William Sonoma, and others. She also managed project startup for the sustainable forest
products Global Alliance, a public private partnership
with the Home Depot and USAID and served as Operations
Manager for GFTN globally. She has served as co chair of the board of the Forest Stewardship Council, US, a certifier, a forestry best practices that WWF helped to found in 1994. Kerry has been involved with
responsible forest management and trade for more than a decade. She had the opportunity to spend a summer working with the First
Nations on Vancouver Island, British Columbia in 2000 as they prepared for their
inaugural timber harvest through a newly formed company Lisaak Forest Resources. The creation Lisaak and
its commitment to FSC had helped to end decades of conflict in Clayoquot Sound among
environmentalist First Nations and logging companies, Lisaak received FSC certification in 2001, and inspired a Master’s
project for Kerry and a career and I know she’ll be telling us more about that this evening. So please join me in
welcoming Kerry Cesareo. (audience clapping) – Well, thank you to the
College of Natural Resources, Dean Ackerley and the Hall family for this opportunity to
speak with you today. While I’m not an alumna of UC Berkeley, we are members of the same family. (audience laughing) I’m excited to talk with you today about a vision for the future. It’s one that involves extensive
resilient forest landscapes that benefit biodiversity
people and the climate, what I call a Forest Positive future. Forest Positive, you may or
may not have heard this term, but it’s a term that is getting used more and more these days. But what does it mean
to be Forest Positive? It’s an important question. Under businesses as usual scenario, we’re projected to lose 150 million more acres of forest by 2030, and as many as 460 million acres by 2050. This summer, we saw the devastating fires in the Amazon linked to deforestation. For residents of California
I don’t need to tell you about forest fires. But in the Amazon, research indicates that if we deforest the
Amazon beyond 20 to 25%, it might reach an ecological tipping point and be unable to support
a rain forest ecosystem. The water cycle will be disrupted, and the system will
transition into something more like a grassland Savannah. We’re currently at about 17%. This can feel pretty depressing, especially if you spent most
of your professional career working on forest conservation. These are dire predictions. And yet I remain hopeful, positive even about the future of forests, and I believe we all have a role to play in creating that future. Here’s what I’d like to share
with you this afternoon. First, a little bit about the evolution of WWF Forest’s strategy,
particularly the aspect of it that involves what we call
market transformation. Second, I wanna talk about
this Forest Positive approach the science and the practice, including a link to Silicon
Valley that helped us develop our thinking on this concept. And third, I wanna talk
about some challenges and opportunities for
becoming Forest Positive. And I’ll share some lessons
learned along the way. This has been my life’s work going back to as you’ve already heard. When I was 25 years old, and
still in graduate school, I had the opportunity to
work in Clayoquot Sound on Vancouver Island in British Columbia. And I found myself in the middle of a magnificent coastal
temperate rain forest stand. I was surrounded by environmentalists and First Nations elders,
and a chainsaw, war to life and a giant cedar crashed to the ground. And I was cheering along
with everyone else. So what was going on here? As Dean Ackerly said, this
was the inaugural harvest of Lisaak Forest Resources, a joint venture formed between a forestry company and Five First Nations. The joint venture was
an outcome of agreements forged among the forest
industry, environmentalists, and First Nations to end
an extremely contentious and long running blockade of
logging in Clayoquot Sound. As part of the deal, Lisaak
would practice ecosystem based forestry and get certified under the still nascent
Forest Stewardship Council. I was really fascinated by the elements of this tenuous peace
among warring parties. But I was even more interested in Lisaak’s business strategy, which involved pursuing
market based solutions such as certification, but
also alternative streams of revenue from things like carbon sequestration
and bio diversity. But I’ll never forget that first harvest. There was drumming and chanting. how weird it was to see
these First Nation elders in their native dress,
made from Cedar bark, with high vis safety vests and hard hats because this was after
all, a active logging site. But a First Nation’s elder bless the tree, thank the creator for the trees life and the gift of resources
and prayed for the safety of Lisaak’s workers. And as the drumming and chanting faded, that chain saw roared, and
that giant cedar crashed down. And a new ray of sunlight
hit the forest floor, filling me with the hope and the promise of certified forestry as a way forward. Not just for the people
on Vancouver Island and in Clayoquot Sound but
for the world’s forests. And ever since then, I’ve dedicated myself to making those market
based solutions work. How to keep forest standing, how to maintain the value of
forests and keep them standing. So not just as a way of finding
peace in the forest wars, but as a key component
of forest conservation. So it was a formative
experience for me, obviously, set my path in terms
of my master’s project and my career at WWF. But I also returned to
that story again and again, because it encapsulates key themes that continue to play out in my work. I call these the three truths and these are not earth shattering. They will not, blow your mind, but they are that conservation
and business need each other. That’s successful collaboration
is based on trust, and that collaboration spurs innovation. I’d like to say that the Lisaak’s
story has a happy ending. I always hesitate to tell
this story because the reality is that Lisaak really struggled to balance sustainable forestry
and economic viability. And sadly, they’re no longer operating. Which highlights perhaps
an overarching truth, and that is that you can’t just declare
victory and move on. In all of this, the
science keeps us honest. Did our idea work? Did our collaboration deliver? If not, why? We need to trust more deeply
face our challenges honestly, and where we have fallen
short, seek to innovate again. This has been the approach of WWF. many of you know WWF were the world’s largest
conservation organization. You may know our work on
elephants, tigers, forests, but the real work of WVF has
been to build partnerships to innovate, to grapple
with the challenges of trying new things and
above all, rely on science. Let me tell you a little
bit about our strategy and how that has evolved over the years. WWF has had and continues to
have a multi pronged strategy for forest conservation. We work on protected areas
we work on forest policy, we work on getting payments
for ecosystem services to work and on market transformation. Today I’m going to talk
primarily about that work on market transformation. When I joined WWF in 2001, we were very focused on
forest certification. WWF, along with many
others had helped to found the Forest Stewardship Council in response to unsustainable logging,
particularly in the tropics. Forest certification is
based on a simple premise, although quite difficult to implement, but a simple premise that buyers should be able to
distinguish between products that come from unsustainable practices from products that are coming
from well managed forests, and then reward those good practices. Prior to FSC’s founding, world
leaders had failed to reach an agreement on forests
at the Rio Summit in 1992. So environmental, community
business and indigenous leaders came together and forged a new approach, a market based solution that was FSC. It was an innovation
that was based on trust, but born out of failure. WWF partnered with companies to help drive the uptake of certification, forming the Global
Forest and Trade Network. Through this network, WWF worked
with hundreds of companies over two decades to drive
improved forest management on the ground, using
certification as a tool. We partnered with market
leaders such as IKEA, Kimberly Clark, HP, William
Sonoma, and many many others. And we’ve worked with concession holders, communities Manufacturers
and mills and we had success. Today nearly 500 million acres of forests around the world are
certified to the FSC standard. And the FSC logo can be
found on everyday products all around the world. FSC spawned other certification efforts for other commodities, the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil, the Roundtable on Sustainable Soy, the Global Roundtable
for Sustainable Beef, the Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials were they working? At least in terms of efficacy, a recent study supported by
WWF in the Peruvian Amazon found that the makeup
of wildlife in FSC sites was similar to that found in forests that aren’t logged at all. Another study found densities of wildlife in FSC certified forests were similar to those of protected areas. But at the same time, 12 million hectares of
forest were lost in 2018, equivalent to 30 soccer fields a minute, and deforestation remains
the single largest emitter of co2 after the burning of fossil fuels. This summer WWF reported on the
first ever global assessment of forest biodiversity, which showed that forest wildlife populations
have shrunk on average by more than half since 1970. Certification was never a silver bullet, and the science tells us that it’s not. Which brings me back to
that overarching lesson. We can’t just declare victory and move on. We need to assess where
we have fallen short, and seek to innovate again. Efforts to source
responsibly were important and we’re having an impact,
but nowhere near enough. Around the time that I was
grappling with this realization, I got a call out of the blue from a former forestry school classmate who was now working at Apple. Apple wanted to talk about
investing in forest projects, and not just for their
own supply chains or use, in those conversations, I
was still solely focused on how Apple could drive
improved practices on the ground through their fiber purchasing. But I remember the moment
when I came to appreciate what Apple was trying to do. Chris Bush from Apple described it for me how they had approached the
issue of renewable energy. Apple could have just bought the available renewable
energy off of the grid, but that would leave less for others. So they also decided
to create more supply. Apple wanted to similarly grow the pie of responsibly managed forests
and do so for the long term. This conversation really
resonated with me. We had just done some
analysis that highlighted the enormous extent of forests at risk from deforestation and degradation. Nearly half of the world’s
forests are at risk. We need to reduce these threats, but we also need to increase the area of effectively protected or
managed forests, in essence, grow the pie, just as Chris said Apple did in terms of renewable energy. And we need to do so at
unprecedented scale and speed, particularly if we hope to meet our goal of limiting climate change below five 1.5 degree increase. This was recently brought home for me based on recent UN reports, which really elaborated what a 1.5
degree pathway means. It means halting deforestation. It also means reforesting, 740 million to 1.7 billion acres of forest, by 2030. To meet these goals
companies need to create, need to help us create what we’re calling a Forest Positive future. So what does it mean
to be Forest Positive? Being Forest Positive is
about doing more that is good, rather than just doing less that is bad. It’s about giving back more
to the forest than you take. It’s about going from
being part of the problem, to maybe neutral to being
part of the solution. I’m not necessarily talking
about a mathematical equation, this is more of a call to action. We went on to launch a five
year project with Apple in China that grew the area of forests
under improved management by a million acres. Production from these
forests exceeds the amount of virgin fiber Apple uses in its product packaging annually. This all started with a phone call from a long lost grad school friend. So stay in touch with your classmates and maybe today at reception, we can create some other
new exciting solutions based on connecting
with your fellow alumni. The China project got us thinking, how could we scale up this sort
of Forest Positive actions? To inform the scale of Apple’s investment, they had used the approach of quantifying their forest footprint as it related to their paper based packaging. We started asking, Well,
how should companies set targets for Forest
Positive investments? We know that what we’re
currently doing is not enough, but how will we know what is enough? We quickly realized that
the question we needed to be asking was, how much
and what quality of forests do we need to sustain life on earth? For those of you who may be familiar with setting science
based targets for climate, you will see that the
question we’re asking is, what’s the 1.5 degree
equivalent for forests? To answer this question,
World Wildlife Fund is leading the development of science based targets for forests. Our effort on science-based
targets for forests is part of a broader
effort that we’re feeding into, through the
Science-Based Targets Network through which WWF and many
others are developing targets for biodiversity, oceans, land and water. These targets are really
important for distinguishing and moving us beyond
what might be perceived as just feel good, corporate philanthropy or worse greenwashing. So how do we make sure
the scale of our ambition in Forest Positive
actions actually gets us to where we need to go? Last year we started work
on the science based targets for forests, but doing some research related to this tipping points concept. We were inspired by
The work of Tom Lovejoy and Carlos Nobre, who described
the Amazon tipping point and we wondered about tipping points for other forest systems. The results from our preliminary research were illuminating and disturbing. So deforestation in
Indonesia has led to increase greenhouse gas emissions and the decline of wildlife populations
such as orangutans. But the loss of forest has also decreased soil productivity, slowing the yields of the very tree crops that
have displaced the forest there. We’re seeing a similar
domino effect in Brazil, where deforestation has
led to increased episodes of drought and flooding,
which has in turn, decreased soil yields. Turns out that the forest cleared in the name of economic growth are actually needed to
sustain that growth. Conservation and business need each other. So how do we make that case
to businesses and governments? Even here in North America, we’re seeing feedback
loops where wildfires and drought stricken by climate change could push forests towards tipping points. If we transgress these tipping points, forests will lose their ability to deliver the goods and services that businesses depend on. Our research will help to
figure out what regional targets are needed for forests
to avert that outcome. But while we’re developing these targets, we don’t need to wait to take action. We don’t have time to wait. And we already know the types of actions that are needed that would be no regrets. I liken it to a phase of
life I’m in right now, which is that you know you
need to save for your kids to go to college, you might
not know how much you need, but you better start saving now. Because regardless of what the target is, you wanna get on that pathway. As I said, we already know what kinds of on the grounds actions can
be taken towards such targets. And these are things like engaging in and investing in conserving
and restoring forests and improving their management. So we need to scale up these
actions, and fortunately, these actions also helped
to deliver on climate, water and other targets. And we’re already working
with a number of companies to do just that. So I wanted to share
some examples of that. So one example is International Paper. They’re supporting our effort to develop science based targets, but they’re also taking real time action to invest in restoration
in a forest region, that’s important for the forest sector, as well as for forests. The Atlantic forests of Brazil
are among the most threatened and yet most biologically diverse forests. And the research for the restoration work that we’re doing with the sort of International
Paper has just begun. It’s in the Mogi Guaçu River Basin. And we consider this a deposit in the bank against the science-based target that will be developed for the region. We can also scale our impact by aligning and focusing these Forest Positive actions in particular landscapes. So essentially having multiple companies invest in the landscape. Last month, another Silicon
Valley company stepped up, HP. So HP has already made
significant progress in its responsible sourcing of fiber for its own branded paper 85%
of which is now FSC certified. But customers don’t always
use HP branded paper, and HP wanted to make an
investment that would cover the total volume of
paper used by customers in its printers over the next four years. HP is making an investment of $11 million in forest restoration,
which will be in Brazil, and an increased FSC management in China. So this collaboration both
builds on the investment by IP and also extends the
investment by Apple in China, so accomplishing more than any
one company could do alone. HP will also support WWF’s
work on science-based targets for forests and our work
to credibly estimate the co benefits of these
forest interventions. And this will help us
advocate for more companies to take more actions more ambitious on the ground actions for forests. The HP initiative also
kind of sets a new bar for responsible action and they’ve been out talking about it. as a good example, not just reducing harm, but of actually taking this
Forest Positive action. Finally, we know that
Forest Positive actions to sustain forests will be more successful if we can combine them with the policy making
power of governments. So the market pool of corporations
combined with the power of governments can help
to overcome challenges that no one entity could take on alone. These actions can be mutually reinforcing, and corporate action
can actually facilitate greater public sector action. Our collaboration with Apple
and China is a case in point. So why was it important for WWF to work on improved force
management in China? Well, China is the
world’s largest producer and consumer of paper products. But the supply within China is low, mainly because of logging
bands and restrictions. And as a consequence, China
imports 50% of its wood. Most of that imported wood,
though comes from countries that are experiencing high rates of illegal
logging or conversion for commodity crop production
or pole plantations. These are places like
Russia, Indonesia, Malaysia. So here, these forests would
be more negatively impacted by continuing to be the pressure from potentially pressure from China. So it’s a strategy to
both encourage China, become more self sufficient by utilizing its own forest resources but also to help conserve those forests in its forest footprint. These are places where many people’s livelihoods
depend directly on forests. By creating policies and incentives to harvest more responsibly within China, we can reduce pressure
and protect these forests. So China has millions of acres of underutilized or unmanaged plantations. And with the support of Apple, we were able to work with
the government to trial and Institute responsible
plantation management practices. This was everything from the introduction of riparian buffers to the diversification with native species to
both build resilience as well as generate
greater economic returns. having achieved that
million dollar million acre a four million acres of forest
under improve management WWF is now working to get
many of those improved management practices incorporated
into Chinese regulation. And doing so would benefit an additional 40 million
acres of China’s forests. So this is roughly about the
size of Washington State. Finally, one more example I would share is our work with Walmart and Unilever. And this is also an example of combining the power of government with
the pull of major corporations. Project Gigaton, is a Walmart initiative to avoid one billion
metric tons or a Gigaton of greenhouse gases from their
global value chain by 2030. Through Project Gigaton, Walmart is encouraging its suppliers of deforestation linked
commodities, like palm oil, soy and beef to get involved in regional on the ground or sort of
jurisdictional approaches to reducing deforestation. And last September, actually at the Global Climate Action
Summit in San Francisco, Unilever, which is a
major supplier of Walmart announced that in addition to sourcing its palm oil responsibly, it was going to invest in the government of Sabah Malaysia’s effort to get all of their palm oil certified. And they’re investing in the restoration of quarters for Orangutan habitat. So all of these different companies and sectors are connected to forests. But we still find in our experience that when it comes to making decisions, it’s still the case that forests are not usually considered
unless you’re maybe in the forest sector itself. And so I think for Forest
Positive to be successful, it needs to extend beyond
some of these usual suspects. Which is why one of the other sectors that we’ve begun to engage
with is the health sector. We’ve been working with
the Planetary Health and Exotic Disease community to understand the connections between
different forest actions and human health. There’s increasing evidence
that land use change is a costly determinant to poor health. It’s estimated that over
30% of disease outbreaks can be traced back to land use change or degradation as an underlying factor. And land use change and
degradation continues to be the biggest determinant in predicting the risk of outbreaks. And yet, there’s a huge disparity in the scale of funding for health versus environment over
a 12 to one disparity. So any science based targets for nature should incorporate
implications for human health. And we need to find ways to
broaden the stakeholder base and narrative for forest conservation. So this interest in investing in forest and sort of Forest Positive approaches as I see it is only growing. At the UN General
Assembly and climate week, last month in New York, there
were over 180 commitments made by companies and governments to so called nature based
solutions to climate change. Question for the audience. Do you know the best carbon
sequestration technology we have today? No ringers here (laughs) – [Male] Trees. – Yes trees (laughs) Trees, trees are superheroes. Forests absorb about two
billion tons of co2 every year. That’s like eliminating the
emissions of 425 million cars. The last time I gave a
talk about Forest Positive. This gentleman came up to me afterwards and he gave me a bumper sticker. Like, I guess he just had them,
he was carrying them around and it said, trees are the answer. So, trees may not be the
answer to every question, but there’s no way
answer to climate change that doesn’t involve forests. Businesses and other non state actors and the kind of climate
negotiations parlance, will continue to play a
critical role as well. When President Trump announced that the US was pulling out of the
Paris Climate Accord, thousands of companies states,
municipalities, universities, stood up to say we are still in. And at WWF we like to
say that every business is in the forest business. Businesses everywhere use
paper, paper packaging, because buildings they rely
on rainfall pollination, they might be affected by landslides or the availability of freshwater. They all have JHG emissions. But not every business
knows about forests. So beyond these pledges, Such as were made in New York, we need real action on the ground. And there’s a real danger that the rush to forest projects does little
to reduce real emissions and could even undermine
the Paris Agreement if we’re not careful. We don’t have all the answers
for how to make that happen, I think we actually need more forestry professionals, more forest ecologist, more
forest carbon scientists. Here’s one of our forest carbon scientist, Naikoa Aguilar-Amuchastegui in action. I don’t know about Berkeley,
but at my graduate alma mater, Yale, the relative number of graduates specializing in forests
continues to decline. And yet, WWF did a modeling exercise that showed that all scenarios for
halting deforestation require an expansion of managed forests to meet the future demand
for wood, fiber and biomass it’s kind of counterintuitive, but in order to halt deforestation, we actually need to expand the area of managed forests. Forest products are renewable,
they can be biodegradable, they can have a lower
footprint than other materials. Also with the growing awareness and concern about plastics, it will be interesting to watch the role of fiber based packaging
and other applications. Forest management is important
for climate adaptation, and also for addressing the widespread and looming problem of forest degradation. The orange part of our donut. Here are just a few of the challenges we’re still grappling with. How to more accurately quantify
the carbon implications of different forest management practices. How do you set targets for forests and other systems that can’t
be reduced down to one measure, like carbon for climate? How do we think about setting targets for largely intact air
areas like the Amazon, versus places that have already undergone heavy conversion such as Indonesia? Some of our challenges
come from knowing too much about the science and sort of holding that complexity in our minds. How do we think about trade offs? Under what conditions is burning biomass, the best option for the climate? is recycled really always
better than virgin? How do you incentivize corporate action to yield the maximum positive impact? While you may be also envisioning a completely different system? I look to you the broader alumni of natural resource institutions,
for your collaboration, and for any and all advice, and to any students in the audience as you go about your research, if you come up with any
answers, please give me a call. If you need any thesis
topics, I have a few of those. And I actually have one challenge that I could use your immediate help with, considering the scale
of forest restoration that needs to happen in order to achieve our 1.5 degree target. And how expensive forestation is, we had the idea of looking at where was natural regeneration
already happening? And could we take advantage
of that and encourage that regrowth at a lower cost than doing restoration
sort of from scratch? We spend a lot of time looking
at deforestation fronts, I was really excited to
look at regeneration fronts. But we need to know
where forest regeneration natural forest regeneration is happening, and be able to distinguish that from other types of greening up. WWF scientists have developed
an algorithm to help identify this using remote sensing globally. But now we’re at the point
where we need human validation to help ground truth the
pixels and to provide context for why that regeneration is happening. So if this is something that
any of you can help with or if you know people who
know things about forests, we would love to have them
volunteer and validate our data. With FSC, with the Global
Fores and Trade Network, trust was the basis of progress. And innovation was born from collaboration such as with Apple. WWF strategy for saving the world’s forest has been a constant iteration,
but at the same time, it’s been a story of
Ccnstance, of sticking with it. So even as we’ve sought to innovate, it’s not as if we’ve abandoned
certification or FSC. I’m still working to make
the market based solutions and responsible forest management that I experienced with Lisaak
work and there’s no pathway to Forest Positive without
responsible forest management. So this is all to say that the solutions are complex and interdependent,
there’s no silver bullet. We’ve all been inspired by Greta. She’s condemned world
leaders and rightfully so. But don’t forget that
there are those of us giving our all to change things. Me, My colleagues at WWF. Our partner organizations, all of you we’re doing that for Greta. And also some pretty
cool young people I know. Greta is actually only my third
favorite climate activist. These are my kids at a Climate March. (laughing) As of today, we don’t know
what the future will look like. We know clearly what the path of inaction what not enough looks like. That path of inaction
has not been cleared, and we must all be part of
the effort to clear that path. And may we be the shoulders upon which the next generation of
graduates may climb, so that they might do
what we haven’t been able to do yet ourselves, thanks. (audience clapping) – [Man] Really enjoyed your presentation. About six years ago, a couple
of young ladies from WWF came from door to door in my neighborhood and started talking to me and solicited monthly contributions from me, just no link linking to my credit card. One of them was very
beautiful, so how can I resist? But anyway, I enjoyed
supporting your work. But my question is, I’ve learned that in the tropical rainforest when they log the trees clear cut them, they take the logs and
they burn the slash. And much of the nutrients from the soil are locked up in the trees
in the stems and the leaves. When that’s burned, much of
it goes away into the smoke. So you leave the soil
with very poor nutrients. So how do we regenerate forests
in situations like that? – Yeah, I mean, I think, there is a effort to restore forests. I mean, the issues of soil productivity, I think are challenging. I’m not a soil scientist myself, but I think we’re grappling with that both from the standpoint of climate change as well in terms of mitigating it. How do we think about the carbon in soils? How do we think about
ensuring the productivity of soils so that we
have less need to shift and clear new areas? But, these are I think, this is tough. I mean, it’s much better to avoid having to restore by being thoughtful, and avoiding, what we’ve say sort of
unnecessary deforestation, right? We’re at a point where, we can provide for our needs, based on the already cleared land. There’s a lot of analysis
showing that just more efficient and better utilization of existing lands, whether they’re degraded
or previously cleared is the way to go in order
to avoid that problem of having to do that restoration, which is really, it
can be really difficult to get back to where we need to be. Yeah. – [Woman] I’m not asking a question, I’m just gonna bring it
to the next person who is. – To answer specifically, your question, I’ll tell you what we do in Guatemala. My son, an myself and my wife, we regenerate tropical rain forests that has been converted into pasture land, and we convert it back again to tropical rain forest. We do that in an industrial way. We don’t use a monoculture
we use all the native species that can be utilized
for lumber in the area. First thing we do is we plant a legume, we plant tropical kudzu or lablab, one of these other legumes. On that we plant something like vanilla or cocoa chocolate plant. And amidst all that, we plant trees. A three by three or four by four, five by five depending on the species. So we get regeneration
from the lowest level which is from the legume, secondary level, the fall of leaves from
say the cocoa plant and the third from the trees as they grow. And they do grow rapidly in the tropics. We’ve been planting
mahogany now for 25 years. The first time I planted mahogany, government agents came
down and tried to stop me, they said you can’t plant mahogany. And I said, but the forest
is full of mahogany. I said it’s generic for
all of Latin America and they said, “No, it doesn’t grow, “there’s a shoot for that
affects it, we can’t do it.” So, being a stubborn Norwegian
Canadian, I insisted, and we found a way to do it, and with also with many
other native species that have never been planted before, so you can regenerate all
that land in the Amazon that been deforested,
either for saw or livestock can be reforest with an
effort and it can be very, very productive. We produce more rosewood,
in one hectare than they do in the tropic rain forests in 100 hectare so that’s the solution we
work in the buffer areas of the natural rain forest. You know the case Kerry in– – Yeah, that’s a great example. So this is great to
have such a enlightened and educated office, which are
speaking that can bail me out on questions I can’t answer. And also, I’m gonna sign you
up to be a volunteer for our, our validation exercise. – [Man] So just wondering, I mean, one of your first principles is conservation in markets. But how do you get the markets to scale? I mean, you mentioned the
HP investment of 11 million, they’re $25 billion company, and that’s just peanuts for them, the scale of the problem,
you have to get it, how do you move it so they’re really doing
something aside from, Honestly, it seems like
greenwashing when is that small. – Yeah, I mean, I think this is why, we are grappling with this question of, where do we need to be? I mean, I was really
inspired by the experience that our colleagues working
with business on climate change the experience they had, so
we have a similar project that was modeled somewhat after GFT and Climate Savers where
people working for many years. Working with companies
to reduce their emissions usually related to increased efficiencies, Parkinson, and then
they got into purchasing of renewable energy and other things. And I can’t remember, it was
like, a certain number of years after the program had been running. And, they had all these
companies that were signed up. And, when the science started coming out about where we needed to be, and this was at the time
was looking at two degrees. And we did these calculations
that shared that basically, from the corporate sector,
in terms of where we were, it was like this, and
we needed to be here, and, people who had dedicated their lives as they just like, would
spontaneously burst into tears, and we’re just like, devastated, right? Because you think you’re
like, doing the right thing. And I can really relate to
that, because having worked, really been so involved in our Global Forest and Trade
Network and feeling like, we’re gonna solve this,
we’re gonna figure this out and just realizing that, there are all these pieces
that needs to come together. And so even as complicated
as it is to think about trying to articulate
targets at these regions levels, we feel like we really need to know that. I mean, I’d rather know
how far away We are from that target, than to sort of say, oh that’s just, do we really
need to sending more targets? I think people get really, weary of that, but I don’t feel like
there’s any other way. And we’ve tried to be
really careful I think, in how companies should talk about this, we’re saying, no, you’re not saying you’re Forest Positive,
you’re not saying suddenly, like, we’ve made this Forest Positive, we’re saying we have to
start taking these actions along the way, and hey, you know what, we may come back and move
the goalposts on you. Like we’ve tried to get really upfront, like, if you’re investing in helping us develop these targets, be prepared, that when we know where we need to go. But the other part of
it is, you have to have, it’s not like trying to
figure out the fair share of any one company is probably a road we don’t wanna go down
because that starts to become, just at the end of the day,
like everyone needs to be doing a whole lot more and maybe we don’t get too caught up in that. But we do need that combined action, and then recognizing the limits
of voluntary action, right? So, in all of this, we’re
gonna need the policy response. And but these things are interrelated. So I think, the example of
this, we are still in was see, sort of companies stepping
up, with the announcement by President Trump, the
calculation of those companies, it’s significant, right? But it’s not as if, you’re having a regulatory approach to dealing with something. And so, I think, part of our
conversations with companies is that they need to use their power to influence the direction on policy, they need to actually open up that space and make it possible for elected leaders to take the hard decisions. So they have to be clear,
that they’re supportive that like that’s part of
their leadership role, because we’re gonna need
that piece to really, bring up the bottom and
kind of do the hard stuff that no one wants to
really voluntarily do. I welcome any of my colleagues who, are particularly eligible
in one of these topics to challenge me on that. (laughs) – [Man] A question building
on the the last response, has WWF approached governments and the UN and the climate panel to start to build a new mechanism, a treaty, maybe outside the climate conference to do something of the sort. – You’re like you’re
like a planted ringer, like yeah, that’s great. So yes, in fact, we are. The next year 2020 is what’s being called the super year. So you have many different processes sort of converging, where we’ll
be looking at the progress against milestones against the Sustainable Development Goals, looking at ratcheting up the ambition under Paris and also
developing new targets under the Convention
on Biological Diversity among many other things going on. And we’re using this moment in time to actually call on world
leaders and everyone to basically have a new
deal for nature and people. So recognizing that we need to raise the level of ambition
as it relates to nature, having seen sort of the positive impact that the Paris treaty had, but wanting to see something similar and so that’s WWF, the
World Economic Forum, and many others are
calling for this new deal that would help to create the space for greater ambition on nature. And similar to the role that
companies played in Paris, we’re asking companies both
to think about setting targets that will be developed in relation science
based targets for nature. And to influence their,
basically influence governments to raise their level of ambition to use the resources to push pull their so WWF’s advocating for that,
but also calling on others, including the business sector to do so. Yeah, great question, thanks. Yeah. – [Woman] Hi, I really
enjoyed your background story. And I thought that that
was a very inspiring story told even though it didn’t
end super awesomely. But I was wondering if
WWF has any motivations or is speaking with indigenous people about managing forest
because as you mentioned. Yeah, increasing managers in forests. – Yeah, definitely, it’s been very interesting. I think looking at the role that, well, certainly I mean, indigenous peoples manages
a very important portion of the forest estate and
have done so in a thoughtful and responsible way. And, I definitely early on in my career was both inspired by that, and see that as a really important piece going forward. We’re actively engaged in many places, including, I mean, one
example I’ll give is in Peru where there’s something called the Forest Investment Facility
where have been helping to facilitate indigenous communities to be able to formalize their land title. So that will, allow for security of title and offer more them to
continue managing responsibly without risk to tenure security. And I think one opportunity, I see is to really from a system standpoint, view that role issues of tenures kind of like a systems acupuncture where, we may think about trying
to solve all these problems from all these different directions, but maybe, one of the
ways to do so more durably and effectively is to really ensure that the stewards of those
forests are able to do so. And even in the US, I mean,
one project that we’re, it’s a nascent project,
but really fascinating is we’ve been looking in the
southeast US so in Alabama, and looking at what were the determinants of families retaining
their forest ownership and managing forests sustainably rather than perhaps converting them or selling them off? And there’s this issue of heirs property, so there’s transference of
property in an informal way, particularly in African
American communities, that, if we could find a way
to kind of securitize that. Like address the fact that that ownership has not gone through
the official channels, it would allow for greater security, sort of greater wealth building and allow those forests to stay forests. So I really see that as a
really important pathway forward and WWF certainly
views indigenous peoples in local communities
as critical and central to our conservation work and
as partnering across the globe to work in that way, yeah. – [Man] Thank you. So this is a thank you for
the presentation as well– – You’re welcome
– It was great. This is a twofer. If I may the first one just picks up on your last point about land title. Is that kind of collated through, like blockchain or
distributed ledger technology? Or could that be a way forward
if that’s not how you do it? Because as I understand
that, that is an opportunity. particularly when countries
where the Napoleonic code is prevalent, and it’s not common law and so but and then
the second part, sorry, the second part is I’ve got
a friend who’s a Kaiser doc and she would greatly prefer to prescribe walks in the forest. The drugs and research. So I’m just wondering if there’s any thought by yourself and WWF to kind of go to a HMOs,
etc, and sort of like, ramp that effort up? – Yeah, great questions. So on the first question, I don’t know whether
blockchain has been explored specifically on the issue of land tenure others in the audience may be
familiar with any projects, where that’s happening. But we are utilizing blockchain
as it relates to product, commodity trade, forest Products
trade and things like that. Including, we have a project in Indonesia that’s looking at how to really
be able to track and trace palm oil that is still we’re still finding being sourced from illegal
conversion of protected areas. So it’s definitely we’re always
looking at tools and things that would new technologies
that could help us achieve that. Yeah, on the forest health piece, I mean, this is something I’m
really excited about that. We’re engaging more on this,
we have a project right now, where we’re just getting
started on in the forest team. Looking at this and are, have some support from some health companies, my team and I are not necessarily, I’m talking to HMOs right now. But I feel like the timing is right for those conversations to
becoming more prevalent. And certainly, this symposium
we’re hosting next week is actually part of talking
to some of the scientists and the practitioners who
are really deep in this and helping WWF get a
little smarter about this and think about what’s the
role that we should play? How could we be most effective? How do we think differently
about our strategies? But I, really, I think
it’s in a really important and exciting space as
we think about wellness and in every I mean, in both from just my own
personal experience standpoint, but also from the standpoint
of really broadening the constituency for forest conservation, so that we start to think about things. There’s a discipline that sort of tries to bring these things together, called interchangeably, Eco
Health or Planetary Health, one health, and it’s just this idea that you can start at these
different systemic levels, these interventions, and we often, it’s more costly and less
effective to be addressing, the problems, whether it’s
infectious disease or other, non communicable diseases that if we, can sort of get the
thinking changed around how being closer to
natural areas and green and all that how that
could actually deliver better health outcomes at a cheaper cost. Like it’s just, that’s
another systems acupuncture, they’re like, hey, maybe the way to, you know what, you have all
these examples where it’s like, oh, if we invest in this, it
has this outsize and impact, and I think that’s gonna be true as we dig more into some of
these health interventions. – [Man] Yes, thank you
very much for your talk. I’m gonna kind of focus in and come back and you mentioned or you’re talking about looking at Southern forest,
but looking at California, 65% of our wood comes from out of state. We thought that carbon sequestration was going to be certainly an aid to do things. It takes somewhere between
10 and 15,000 acres to be able to afford to meet the California standards for this. If you look at non-industrial
Forest ownership in the state of California, it covers somewhere between
six and 10 million acres. There are about 87,000 owners. And looking at what my organization and others people have involved, we can probably number
the people that have done either forest management
or fuel management or some other kind of
active forest management in the neighborhood of 5000. Total. Then it’s been that way, despite the efforts of the university and other organizations, it’s been that way for
two decades or more. If you really want to look at this, you’re gonna have to
work from the bottom up as well as the top down. And, there are least two of us here that are small industrial owners that are not industrial owners. And, it’s just frightening
when you spend 25 to $30,000 before you can
even start the chain saw. And that’s the current
regulatory structure that we face in the state of California. So, I would encourage you to focus on domestic policy as well
as international policy. – Yeah, yeah, a fair point. Sure. – [Man] Hi Kerry. As you said earlier, in your presentation WWF has
played a very central role in creating numerous
market based initiatives, certification programs and
forest, fisheries, food, etc. Most of those programs have now been around for over a decade. They are voluntary, they
rely upon a voluntary choice on the part of consumers
to specify certified wood products, food products, etc. And over time, interest wanes, humans have kind of a
short term perspective and novelty is important. So my question for you is, does WWF recognize the need to somehow try to reinvigorate market
interest in these programs that are no longer just
a new kid on the block and been around for over a decade? – Yeah, I mean, thanks for that question. I mean, I think maybe
you keyed into maybe, some of my own frustration on this. I think this is my point. Really that’s underlying my comment about you can’t just
declare victory and move on because there are many organizations
that were very actively involved in helping to establish FSC, who have frittered away and, left kind of, a small set of Star Wars sort of, carrying, I mean, the
system continues to grow, but I think, at least from,
sitting in the NGO sector, this has been a big frustration is that, we’ve just had so many stakeholders whose own strategies really, ultimately rely on there
being a functioning, rely on this slice of
responsible forest management that, needs to be verified. And, we think FSC is one of
the best ways to do that. And yet, there hasn’t been very much
ongoing investment in that. So, I mean, I think one thing that from a leadership standpoint, I think we’ve pushed really hard on is to sort of stay in the game on that, to continue to invest resources and say, this is a long term proposition. This is not we set it up, now we’re gonna go on and
move on and do other things. So certainly from WWF’s standpoint, there’s a constant need to even reinvigorate that within WWF. We’ve also looked at some
of the certifications and realized that they
hadn’t turned out to deliver, what we had hoped they would, and we are trying to be strategic and thoughtful about that, too. But where we think that
it’s delivering good value, we tried to stay in the game. And, increasingly, I think I want to, engage more broadly, with peers sort of in the sector, as we’re gearing up to
this 2020 super year, and everyone is thinking,
how are we gonna get to these very ambitious
targets for protecting forests? And really start to show them the math, I think that we’ve done on this is to say here’s where some of these areas are gonna need to come from. And, we have to kind of
remain engaged there. But it’s a real fear. It’s a fear I have, even though
I think with the companies who have been longtime
supporters, that they get nervous and they start looking ahead to see maybe what might be next. And I don’t have the answers
on how you reinvigorate on that other than to say that, you
have to think about what, in addition, and sort of
build those things together. So I think even as we’ve kind of gone with this very compelling sort of people really have responded
to this Forest Positive term, like at the core of it, we’ve said, Yeah, you have to first be, managing responsibly,
sourcing responsibly. Like you can’t do that
instead of the things that we’ve been saying all
along, you have to do so. If we can’t get excitement, we are at least, building
that in and saying you can’t kind of move on if you wanna go on the path with us and we’re showing you kind of
what that science looks like unless you like the table stakes are like getting your house in order and kind of doing all those things on the responsible business side. – So, I’m gonna suggest in the theme of reinvigoration. (audience laughing) There’s is the reception in the patio thank you again for–
– Thank you. (audience clapping)

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