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Kingfisher boss calls for global talks on deforestation

Kingfisher chief executive Ian Cheshire has called for annual government-level talks to achieve zero net deforestation by 2020.

Delivering the keynote address at the Forest Stewardship Council's General Assembly in Malaysia, today, Mr Cheshire said government-level talks should bring together the world's environment ministers to establish a roadmap for international cooperation and to secure the future of the world's forests.

Zero net deforestation would mean that wherever deforestation occurs, it would be mitigated with forest regeneration or creation, safeguarding biodiversity and resulting in no overall decrease in the amount of forested land.

Mr Cheshire told delegates: "13m hectares of forest are lost each year, a global challenge persistently highlighted by NGOs such as the FSC and others. Forest loss is not just an environmental issue; pressure on the availability of timber supplies over the next five to 10 years will present one of businesses' biggest supply chain challenges."

He added: "I believe that a coordinated international effort between countries, industry and society is needed. It will be for the world's governments to take the lead and put in place a roadmap for international cooperation, securing the future of the world's forests, their biodiversity and security of supply for consumers."

Kingfisher operates 330 B&Q stores in the UK and Ireland, selling more than 16,000 products containing wood, either as whole timber or as a constituent part.

The company was a founding partner of the FSC in the early 1990s, and announced in February this year that it was the first major UK retailer to only buy timber products from proven responsible sources.

This guarantee applies to 100% of timber in products sold at B&Q, and 81% of products sold across the whole of Kingfisher, which also owns Castorama and Brico Depot in Europe.

FSC director general Andre de Freitas said: "The Forest Stewardship Council supports Kingfisher's 'call to action' to mobilise global leaders, align efforts to protect the world's forests and ensure essential environmental and social forest functions for the future. FSC will work with Kingfisher and other FSC members to increase its contribution to responsible forest management worldwide and the wider objective of halting forestry loss."

Source : DIY

29 June 2011
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