Giving Compass' Take:

· Writing for Pacific Standard, James Fair explains how timber companies have the potential to protect forests for the long-term, but few prohibit clear-felling practices.

· How can timber companies adopt more sustainable practices? What are clear-felling practices and why are they harmful?

· Check out this article about drones working to restore forests.

Forestry companies that manage huge areas of rainforest in the tropics have failed to commit themselves to policies of "zero deforestation," according to an analysis of their environmental policies by the Zoological Society of London.

The latest report from the ZSL's Sustainability Policy Transparency Toolkit (SPOTT) initiative shows that, of the 97 companies it assesses, 77 control land that is not protected from being clear-felled to make way for agricultural plantations or other uses.

The companies investigated by the ZSL have a combined landbank of nearly (116 million acres, an area 15 times the size of Belgium or a little greater than California.

The SPOTT analysis even found flaws in the policies of those 20 companies that do commit themselves to sustainable, selective logging: only 11 of them require all their suppliers to uphold the zero-deforestation commitment, and only 12 have adequate reporting systems to monitor deforestation, the ZSL says.

The way in which forestry companies manage these assets is vital, says SPOTT manager Oliver Cupit. "Though forestry operations are not the primary cause of land clearances, they are responsible for degradation," he says. "Once you have taken out the most valuable timbers, that reduces the financial viability of the holding, and that can lead to encroachment from mining and agriculture."

Read the full article about protecting forests by James Fair at Pacific Standard.