Lofa, where we work in Foya, used to be regarded as the breadbasket for Liberia. They used to produce large volumes of rice, year in year out, and everybody knew them for the volume of rice coming out of that region. The lowlands were developed with canals, dams, everything needed to store water throughout the year. They were able to farm and harvest three times a year. However, after forty years of civil war, total disrepair and lack of maintenance, those dams could no longer function properly and the canals were all closing up.
A couple of weeks ago my Brazilian colleague Daniella Mariuzzo ventured out to a supermarket for the first time in 18 months. With a mixture of trepidation and elation she left the safety of her family bubble to purchase one of the first packs of verified 100% deforestation-free Brazilian Beef from a Carrefour store in Sao Paulo. It was a big moment for both the Brazilian cattle sector and for all of us who want to stop illegal deforestation in the Amazon.
At IDH – the Sustainable Trade Initiative, we bring all the parties in a value chain – public, private, but also civil society and knowledge institutions – to find the solutions together because we know that with incremental change we won’t get there.
Ten years after it dropped off the sustainability radar, voluntary forest-based carbon trading is finally poised to get off the ground for real. We believe it can have a key role in safeguarding the future of our planet.