The Minister for the Environment, the Hon Greg Hunt, and Ms Aida Greenbury, Managing Director of Sustainability at Asia Pulp and Paper Group, today announced the establishment of a Private Sector Roundtable to harness private sector expertise on protecting rainforest ecosystems in the region.
The Asia-Pacific region is home to one of the three largest rainforest basins in the world.
Community, business and political will is building to find better ways to maximise the economic, social and environmental benefits of the Asia-Pacific’s rainforests.
Following the successful Asia-Pacific Rainforest Summit held in Sydney in 2014, the Australian Government has been leading efforts in the region to slow, halt and reverse rainforest loss.
Speaking at the Global Landscapes Forum in Paris, Minister Hunt and Ms Greenbury announced that the Roundtable would form a crucial allied but parallel process to the next Asia-Pacific Rainforest Summit, to be hosted by Brunei in August 2016.
“Any serious effort to address deforestation must engage with the private sector. We need to better understand the drivers of deforestation and seek out the best ideas for continuing economic growth while preserving these special places,” Minister Hunt said.
“Similar to the B20, the group of business leaders that works in parallel to the G20, the Private Sector Roundtable will develop recommendations for consideration at the next Asia-Pacific Rainforest Summit.”
“This is a world-first approach to understanding and managing the conservation of forest ecosystems in the Asia-Pacific. Having a person of the calibre of Aida Greenbury as Chair gives me great confidence that the Roundtable will make a huge contribution to our goals to reduce rainforest loss in some of the most important forest areas in the world,” Minister Hunt said.
“I am honoured to have been asked to be inaugural Chair of the Private Sector Roundtable to the Asia-Pacific Rainforest Recovery Plan,” Ms Greenbury said.
“I believe economic development can exist in harmony with efforts to protect and restore rainforests within the Asia-Pacific region. This confidence comes from my own experience and journey taken by Asia Pulp & Paper Group, one of the world’s largest paper and pulp producers, from a previous reliance on natural forests to sourcing 100% of our fibre from plantation wood almost three years ago.”
“The Roundtable is a real opportunity to contribute to processes that can positively impact the lives of hundreds of millions of people, restore the health and wellbeing of entire eco-systems and bring numerous species back from the brink of extinction,” Ms Greenbury concluded.
The Deputy Chair will be Mr Martijn Wilder of legal firm Baker & McKenzie.