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Read about the role forests play in the production of commodities around the world.

88 articles under the Commodities category

Paraguay’s Path to Responsible Land Use

By Ryan Sarsfield and Yan Speranza Source: Pablo Andrés Rivero (license here). A small country roughly the size of California, Paraguay has had outsized success as a global agribusiness competitor. It is one of the world’s top exporters of soy (ranked 4th) and cattle (ranked 6th), driving enormous economic growth. But this growth has come about […]

Companies Can Now Spot Deforestation in their Palm Oil Supply Chains Before it Happens

By Sarah Lake and Octavia Payne Half of all packaged consumer goods contain palm oil. Photo by 1Flatworld (Flickr). Half of all packaged consumer goods from shampoo to donuts contain palm oil, but the ubiquitous product comes at a cost—widespread deforestation from plantations, especially in Indonesia and Malaysia, which produce 85 percent of all palm […]

Companies Can Now Spot Deforestation in their Palm Oil Supply Chains Before it Happens

By Sarah Lake and Octavia Payne Half of all packaged consumer goods contain palm oil. Photo by 1Flatworld (Flickr). Half of all packaged consumer goods from shampoo to donuts contain palm oil, but the ubiquitous product comes at a cost—widespread deforestation from plantations, especially in Indonesia and Malaysia, which produce 85 percent of all palm […]

For Companies that Cut Protected Forests, There’s Nowhere to Hide

For products like cacao (above) and palm oil, sustainability is increasingly critical to the corporate bottom line. Bobby Neptune/USAID. By Sarah Alix Mann and Octavia Aris Payne Some companies are learning the hard way that sustainability is increasingly critical to the corporate bottom line—and that advanced technologies make unsustainable and illegal practices easier to detect. The Roundtable on […]

Linking products to places: the initiatives working to end deforestation

By Crystal Davis Aerial view of the Amazon Rainforest, near Manaus, the capital of the Brazilian state of Amazonas, Brazil. Photo by Neil Palmer/CIAT for Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR). (Flickr). Why do we let history repeat itself? Less than six months ago, fires raged in Indonesia, blanketing the region in toxic smoke and releasing […]

How Does China’s Growing Overseas Investment Affect Africa’s Forests? 5 Things to Know

By Bo Li and Yaxin Yan China’s investments in Africa have exploded in recent years, with outward foreign direct investment (OFDI) stock growing from $1 billion in 2004 to more than $30 billion in 2014. Investment in forests—particularly the timber sector—is no different. China’s overseas forest project investments grew from eight in 2007 to 84 in […]

When Tree Cover Loss is Really Forest Loss: New Plantation Maps Improve Forest Monitoring

By Mikaela Weisse The difference between forest and “tree cover” may be subtle, but it is important. Tree cover describes all trees and vegetation taller than 5m (the height at which they can be reliably detected by satellites) regardless of whether they’re part of a natural forest or have been planted by humans for agricultural […]

Forest Loss Pushes Far Beyond Plantation Boundaries in South America, Africa

By Rachael Petersen, Liz Goldman, Mikaela Weisse and Dmitry Aksenov Which of the world’s forests are natural, and which have been planted by humans? Orangutans at Camp Leakey, Central Kalimantan, Indonesia. Photo by James Anderson for WRI (Flickr). It seems like a simple question, but researchers have been struggling to answer it for years. Satellites can’t […]

Forest Loss Pushes Far Beyond Plantation Boundaries in South America, Africa

By Rachael Petersen, Liz Goldman, Mikaela Weisse and Dmitry Aksenov Which of the world’s forests are natural, and which have been planted by humans? Orangutans at Camp Leakey, Central Kalimantan, Indonesia. Photo by James Anderson for WRI (Flickr). It seems like a simple question, but researchers have been struggling to answer it for years. Satellites can’t […]