Kuala Lumpur — Environmental groups welcomed an initiative by global tyre manufacturers to stop the destruction of forests to make way for rubber plantations, but warned that the industry-backed organisation must act independently to be effective. The Global Platform for Sustainable Natural Rubber (GPSNR) — which includes Michelin and Goodyear Tire & Rubber — will begin operations in March at its headquarters in Singapore, according to a statement from the organisation. Rubber demand has risen over the past 20 years as emerging markets such as China and India have become wealthier, with more people able to buy cars and motorbikes, which has driven deforestation, according to environmental groups. “We are already seeing new rubber plantations pushing into natural forests,” said Rod Taylor, a director at the World Resources Institute in Geneva. He said the launch of the GPSNR was “timely”, but warned that its decision-making process must include input from people who are not directly ...

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