NGP started with the premise that well-managed plantations in the right places can help conserve biodiversity and meet human needs, while contributing to sustainable economic growth and local livelihoods.
And we identified four key principles, agreeing that plantations should:
- Maintain ecosystem integrity
- Protect and enhance high conservation values
- Be developed through effective stakeholder involvement processes
- Contribute to economic growth and employment.
WWF set up NGP in 2007. The NGP platform is a place to learn about better plantation management through real world experiences, and influence others to follow good examples. NGP brings together leading plantation companies and some government agencies that manage and regulate plantations.
Events such as study tours, workshops and conferences play a key role in NGP’s work towards better plantations. They are moments to share knowledge about good plantation practices and learn from others' good examples. The platform seeks to influence other companies and governments to make environmentally and socially responsible decisions on their plantation management.
Growing demand for timber, paper and fuel wood is putting our natural forests under increasing pressure. Well-managed plantations can be a part of the solution by providing wood on less land than natural forests. NGP participants are also involved in conserving and restoring natural forests around their plantations. For example, they have helped to protect and replant more than 8,000 hectares of Brazil’s Atlantic rainforest .
NGP participants want to see a new generation of plantations in harmony with people and nature. An ideal plantation would bring direct benefits to the people living nearby. We want to see plantations that:
- Are designed and managed in cooperation with local people and all those affected, treating them as equal partners
- Respect and strengthen people’s rights to land and resources
- Bring income and jobs, for example as managers, harvesters and sub-contractors
- Support local needs, aspirations and well-being
- Contribute to communities’ economic and social development.
These ideal plantations would benefit the environment too by:
- Maintaining water availability and soil nutrients
- Absorbing and storing carbon
- Including corridors for wild animals to pass
- Protecting critical areas for plants and animals
- Enhancing degraded areas like overgrazed pasture.
NGP isn't a standard that guarantees specific requirements have been met. It's a vision and a concept that evolves as our knowledge and experience grows. Participants improve their own plantation practices with the help of each other's good examples. They also use the requirements of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification on their plantation management. Companies participating in NGP have nearly 100% of their plantations certified according to FSC standards.
Companies participating in NGP are committed to transparency:
- All participants disclose data on their plantations through this website
- Nearly 50% participate in WWF´s biannual Environmental Paper Company Index which evaluates a company´s overall manufacturing performance – epci.panda.org/
- 2 participants disclose the ecological footprint for several of their papers on WWF´s online database checkyourpaper.panda.org
The NGP platform seeks to advance and influence plantation management beyond its participants by sharing information and leading by example, towards a vision where forest plantations contribute positively to the welfare of local communities and work in harmony with natural ecosystems.