Challenges to mitigation of deforestation
Agriculture is the biggest driver of deforestation worldwide. Each year, between 12 and 15 million ha of tropical forests disappear, affecting biodiversity and contributing to climate change. To respond to the challenge, a growing number of retailers, manufacturers, processors and traders in the food, fuel and fiber sectors are making public commitments to establish deforestation-free supply chains. In addition, national governments are introducing procurement policies to purchase certified commodities.
Delivering on these commitments requires to go beyond single product and single site certification, and address sustainability challenges beyond the farm gate, at a landscape level.
In selected landscapes, IDH convenes multi-stakeholder coalitions, in which companies, local governments, communities and civil society work together to identify the desirable future for the landscape – through development of Green Growth Plans. These plans set the high-level vision for the landscape, are implementable over the medium and long-term, and balance the social, environmental and economic interests of stakeholders.
At a higher level, the multi-stakeholder coalition will help strengthen regulatory frameworks, enforcement of regulations and laws, and improve land use planning. Some projects will also include the creation of verified sourcing areas in certain landscapes, guaranteeing to commodity buyers that these landscapes are “deforestation-free” areas.
Implementation of the Green Growth Plan is supported by Production, Protection and Inclusion (PPI) compacts, which are local-level arrangements between landscape stakeholders. The compacts define the terms of the collaboration between business, communities, local authorities and government to ensure development of economic and livelihood opportunities under the condition of forest and/or natural resources (e.g. water) protection. These agreements contain different mechanisms to create new revenue opportunities for communities, intensify agricultural production, implement sustainable land management practices etc.
The high-level targets identified by the multi-stakeholder coalitions and detailed in the PPI Compacts will be met through the design and implementation of field-level interventions that aim to:
- Improve farming practices, which may include sustainable intensification of land use, to reduce pressure on forests (Sustainable production);
- Secure community’s livelihoods, through creation of new income generating activities (Inclusion);
- Protect forests and restore degraded land (Protection)
Private sector engagement is critical to the success of the multi-stakeholder coalitions and design/implementation of field-level interventions. IDH influences business practices at different levels:
- At global level, we work towards increasing companies’ commitment to ending deforestation in their supply chain. We do so by creating sector coalitions together with sector associations and governments;
- At field level, we support the operationalization of companies’ no-deforestation commitments, by facilitating companies’ engagement in landscape approaches.
Over the long run, we aim to systematize business adoption of landscape approaches as a way of embedding sustainability throughout the entire commodity supply chain. In particular, we will promote adoption of production, protection and inclusion approaches in companies’ business models.