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In unprecedented move, Michelin adopts zero deforestation for rubber sourcing

June 13, 2016

In unprecedented move, Michelin adopts zero deforestation for rubber sourcing

Michelin Group, one of the world’s three largest tire companies, has just adopted a zero deforestation policy for its rubber sourcing. The move is significant because rubber is a major driver of tropical forest destruction through the conversion of natural forests for plantations. Forests in West Africa and Southeast Asia have been particularly hard hit by the commodity’s production.

The new policy, which is published on Michelin’s web site, calls for many of the same provisions adopted by “zero deforestation” companies, including respecting local communities’ rights to reject plantations and barring sourcing of rubber from newly cleared forests. According the policy, primary forests as well as “high carbon stock” (HCS) and “high conservation value” (HCV) are off-limited for conversion.

“[Michelin] Group undertakes not to contribute voluntarily, directly or indirectly, to actions which might lead to the illegitimate appropriation of land to the detriment of local communities or populations,” the policy states. “The Group is committed to ‘free, prior and informed consent’ (FPIC) principle of local communities likely to be affected by its operations, especially when setting up or transforming corporate plantations and/or industrial sites.”

“Keen to protect natural forests, and particularly primary forests and areas of high environmental value likely to be jeopardized by the development of rubber cultivation, the Group advocates a responsible land management policy,” the policy continues.

The move comes after environmentalists ratcheted up campaigns to reform the rubber sector, which has often been associated with deforestation and conflict.

Read more at MONGABAY.

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