Endangered Wildlife Trust and Mondi partner to map biodiversity footprints in South African forestry operations

The Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT), one of the largest biodiversity conservation NGOs in southern Africa, and Mondi, a global packaging and paper producer, announced a three-year partnership to map biodiversity footprints in Mondi South Africa’s forestry operations.

This partnership will include a pilot assessment of the biodiversity footprint of Mondi’s operations in South Africa using the EWT’s Biological Diversity Protocol (BD Protocol). The BD Protocol is an accounting framework that consolidates site-based biodiversity data to calculate any company’s total, negative and positive biodiversity footprints, allowing users to set meaningful targets and track changes on the ground and disclose these to stakeholders.

By working together with Mondi, we can reduce their business risks and enhance the protection of habitats and species.  Dr Gabi Teren, National Biodiversity and Business Network Programme Manager at the EWT

Mondi is also part of the EWT’s National Biodiversity and Business Network, which aims to galvanise business action, generate positive biodiversity footprints, and catalyse meaningful change for species and ecosystems.

As a business, we highly depend on natural resources. Therefore, we recognise our responsibility to play our part in finding solutions to halt and reverse nature loss. By partnering with EWT, we want to better understand what role sustainable working forests can play in conserving and protecting species and how we can improve our forest management techniques to safeguard ecosystems.   Vivien McMenamin, CEO Mondi South Africa

As one of the partnership’s first activities, EWT and Mondi recently conducted ‘Species Field Days’ in Mondi’s forestry operations with over 100 people engaged in tracking species using the ‘iNaturalist’ app, which helps to digitally record plant and animal observations. Over 400 species have been captured and visualised in three days. The data collected will help to provide a better picture of species represented in Mondi’s forestry landholdings.

Mondi manages approximately 250,000 hectares of plantation forestry landholdings in South Africa, which are chain-of-custody certified. Around 20-25% of our landholdings are managed for conservation, along with the conservation efforts beyond their forestry boundaries. Through its sustainability framework MAP2030, Mondi has committed to conduct biodiversity assessments at its mills and forestry operations by 2025 (46% completed to date). With the support of external experts, the Group identifies important biodiversity sites around its operations and evaluates the state of a full variety of environmental aspects, which also may affect biodiversity.

For more information, check the Mondi Sustainable Development report 2022: https://www.mondigroup.com/sd22.