Amazon is Burning… The Lungs of the Earth are on Fire …

Brazilian scientists evaluated that there are 35% more fires in Amazon this year then in the average of the last eight years.

With over 3 million species of plants and animals, the Amazon rainforest is crucial to slowing climate change. It absorbs millions of tons of carbon dioxide and emits 6% of Earth’s oxygen. The Rainforest recycles the water from the ground to the atmosphere and creates moisture air rivers which are responsible for the rainfall around the globe. The Rainforest is a global “air-conditioner” cooling the atmosphere. Over a million indigenous people call the Amazon basin their ancestral home. Twenty-four million farmers and loggers, who reside in the Amazon basin, support themselves through agriculture, mostly beef and soy production, and by logging. These are the farmers and loggers, encouraged and supported by the  government of President Bolsonaro, promoting aggressive agricultural development through deforestation, who enabled 90% of the fires.

Every second a football field of this irreplaceable natural resource is consumed by the fire.

The thick black smoke, visible from space, drifts over the land, plunging 12-million people in São Paulo, into daytime darkness and filling hospitals with patients in respiratory distress. Pollution-tinted red sunrises and sunsets over the Andes in Santiago, Chile and Mendoza, Argentina testify to the Amazon bleeding heavily, impacting… yes, the entire world.  

So, to whom does the Amazon forest belong? Who has the responsibility to manage and protect this invaluable  and irreplaceable natural resource? These questions are the focus of The Source, September issue.

We focus on forests as invaluable natural resources, that are facing existential threats from the relentless  push for development and quick profits, from political ambitions and speculative economic gains. The uncontrolled exploitation of biomass, and forests specifically, presents tangible and material risk to businesses and investors. The Chain Reaction Research analysis of ESG risks directly related to Amazon fires, provides an overview of risk factors faced by  global agricultural companies, risks that investors analyze, take notice and take action. Such as for example Norway’s biggest investor, Storebrand ASA with $170 billion under management is telling its companies not to contribute to environmental damage “We have an ambition to exit companies that contribute to deforestation…” – the Storebrand spokesman warns.  

Utilizing market forces to responsibly manage forests and other natural resources is the mission of Forest Trends and personal passion of its founder and CEO, Michael Jenkins. In his interview with The GSC Source, Michael reflects on his two-decades long journey in deploying market forces for conservancy. Stephen Donofrio who leads the SupplyChange initiative for Forest Trends presents main accomplishments and ambitious goals for supply chains.

GSC argues that now, more than ever, it is critical for business to clearly and decisively stand behind zero-deforestation commitments as a way to mitigate those risks. 

 

Dr. Wanda Lopuch

Wanda Lopuch,  Chairman of the Board

Dr. Wanda Lopuch’s unique combination of entrepreneurial drive, global mindset, multi-language executive skills and corporate responsibility expertise have been critical in allowing her to successfully exploit growth opportunities in IT/CT, consumer products and health sectors, as well as in the not-for-profit sector and inter-governmental relations. In doing so, she advocates and practices responsible business and profit with purpose. In addition to her function as Chair of the GSC Board, Dr. Lopuch leads MDA Associates, Inc., a consulting organization focusing on advising corporate boards on sustainability audits, materiality assessments and implementing SDGs.