Conservation of Ancient and Endangered Forests and Ecosystem
Under the Canopy pledges to protect ancient and endangered forests[i] by prohibiting their exploitation to make manmade cellulosic fibers and fabrics such as rayon, viscose, lyocell and modal.
In doing so, we preclude the use of dissolving pulp from Canadian and Russian Boreal Forests; Coastal Temperate Rainforests; tropical forests and peatlands of Indonesia, the Amazon and West Africa, and endangered species habitat, and eventually from all natural forests.
Under the Canopy prohibits the use of fabric made from dissolving pulp from companies that are logging forests illegally [from tree plantations established after 1994 through the conversion or simplification of natural forests]; or from areas being logged in contravention of indigenous peoples’ rights.
Under the Canopy supports collaborative and visionary system solutions with Canopy that protect remaining ancient and endangered forests in the Coastal Temperate Rainforests of Vancouver Island and Great Bear Rainforest[ii], Canada’s Boreal Forests, and Indonesia’s Rainforests
We prefer suppliers that show commitment toward the conservation of endangered forests and species and engage with them to maintain best practices regarding fibers from ancient and endangered forests, endangered species habitat, or other contentious sources.
We recognize, respect and uphold human rights and the rights of communities; and request that our suppliers respect the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and acknowledge indigenous and rural communities legal, customary or user rights to their territories, land, and resources.
To do so, Under the Canopy requests that our suppliers acknowledge the rights of Indigenous People and rural communities to give or withhold their Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) before new logging rights are allocated or tree plantations are developed, and resolve complaints and conflicts, and remediate prior human rights violations through a transparent and accountable grievance mechanism and mutually agreeable dispute resolution process.
Shift to More Environmentally and Socially Beneficial Fabrics
Under the Canopy collaborates with Canopy, innovative companies and suppliers to encourage the development of fiber sources that reduce environmental and social impacts, such as fibre from agricultural residues[iii]or recycled fabrics.
Forest Certification for Fabrics
Under the Canopy requests that all fabric sourced from forests are from responsibly managed forests, certified to the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification system, and where FSC certified plantations are part of the solution.
Reduce Greenhouse Gas Footprint
Recognizing the importance of forests as carbon storehouses, Under the Canopy supports initiatives that advance forest conservation to reduce the loss of high carbon value forests, by encouraging vendors and suppliers to avoid harvest in these areas, and by giving preference to those that use effective strategies to actively reduce their greenhouse gas footprint.
[i] Ancient and endangered forests are defined as intact forest landscape mosaics, naturally rare forest types, forest types that have been made rare due to human activity, and/or other forests that are ecologically critical for the protection of biological diversity. Ecological components of endangered forests are: Intact forest landscapes; Remnant forests and restoration cores; Landscape connectivity; Rare forest types; Forests of high species richness; Forests containing high concentrations of rare and endangered species; Forests of high endemism; Core habitat for focal species; Forests exhibiting rare ecological and evolutionary phenomena. As a starting point to geographically locate ancient and endangered forests, maps of High Conservation Value Forests (HCVF), as defined by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), and of intact forest landscapes (IFL), can be used and paired with maps of other key ecological values like the habitat range of key endangered species and forests containing high concentrations of terrestrial carbon and High Carbon Stocks (HCS). (The Wye River Coalition’s Endangered Forests: High Conservation Value Forests Protection – Guidance for Corporate Commitments. This has been reviewed by conservation groups, corporations, and scientists such as Dr. Jim Stritholtt, President and Executive Director of the Conservation Biology Institute, and has been adopted by corporations for their forest sourcing policies). Key endangered forests globally are the Canadian and Russian Boreal Forests; Coastal Temperate Rainforests of British Columbia, Alaska and Chile; Tropical forests and peat lands of Indonesia, the Amazon and West Africa. For more information on the definitions of ancient and endangered forests, please go to: http://canopyplanet.org/index.php?page=science-behind-the-brand
[ii] Conservation solutions are now finalized in the Great Bear Rainforest, located in coastal temperate rainforests that originally covered 0.2% of the planet, and where now less than 25% of the original forests remain. On February 1st, 2016 the Government of British Columbia, First Nations, environmental organizations and the forest industry announced 38% protection in the Great Bear Rainforest and an ecosystem-based management approach that will see 85% of this region off limits to logging. Provided these agreements hold – sustainable sourcing has been accomplished in this ancient and endangered forest. We encourage ongoing verification of this through renewal of Forest Stewardship Council certification.
[iii] Agricultural Residues are residues left over from food production or other processes and using them maximizes the lifecycle of the fiber. Fibers used for paper products include cereal straws like wheat straw, rice straw, seed flax straw, corn stalks, sorghum stalks, sugar cane bagasse, and rye seed grass straw. Where the LCA (life cycle analysis) shows environmental benefits and conversion of forest land to on purpose crops is not an issue, kenaf can also be included here. Depending on how they are harvested, fibers for fabrics may include flax, soy, bagasse, and hemp. (Agricultural residues are not from on purpose crops that replace forest stands or food crops.)