Kathy Abusow is President & CEO of SFI. She is committed to raising awareness that well managed forests provide products and benefits that help society at large. These forests store carbon, clean the air we breathe and the water we drink, provide habitat for many species, and produce products that improve our quality of life. Forests certified to SFI Standards span a quarter billion acres from Canada’s Boreal to the US South, and millions of additional acres are positively influenced by SFI Standards and programs for the responsible procurement of forest products. Her talk emphasizes how we need not only to hug the trees, but the forests as well.
Deforestation is significantly affecting the world’s forests. Forests still cover about a third of the world’s land area, but areas half the size of England are lost each year, according to National Geographic. At current rates of deforestation, the world’s rain forests could disappear in 100 years. Forest destruction produces as much as 15% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions — more than from all the planes, trains and automobiles on Earth, according to The Nature Conservancy.