Earthworm Foundation and energy company Drax Group have launched a new evidence-based approach to measure and evaluate the health of a forest, enabling the forestry industry to identify opportunities to support communities, biodiversity and tackle climate change.
The new tool, known as Healthy Forest Landscapes (HFL), will ensure that working forests continue to benefit the communities that depend on them, as well as the environment, amid increasing demand for sustainable wood products across a wide range of industries.
By using HFL, the forestry industry will be able to more accurately identify opportunities for positive interventions, which support healthy forests and help to drive improvements across the sector.
The HFL approach assesses four key areas: forest cover, carbon stock, biodiversity and community well-being.
Richard Peberdy, Head of Sustainable Forests at Drax, comments, “As a major user of sustainable biomass, Drax is committed to continuously raising standards across the industry to ensure the biomass we use makes a positive contribution to our climate, the environment and the communities in which we operate.”
The HFL tool is important because it gives businesses like Drax the information needed to ensure its operations positively impact the forests where it sources its biomass. HFL does this by measuring changes in the forest landscape using empirical evidence such as big data from government statistics, and input from remote sensing technologies, such as earth observation from satellites. HFL also uses an Earthworm-developed socio-economic evaluation methodology to assess community well-being.
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