Ending deforestation: REDD+ CGF = Ø Deforestation



130 governments, businesses, civil society and indigenous peoples’ organisations endorsed the New York Declaration on Forests on 23 September 2014. They have pledged to halve forest loss by 2020 and to end it a decade later in 2030.  

For businesses, this builds on a commitment made in 2010 by the Consumer Goods Forum (CGF) – a coalition of 400 companies with combined revenues of US$ 3 trillion.  The CGF aimed for Zero Net Deforestation by 2020 from four key commodities: soy, palm oil, pulp & paper and cattle products.  These products drive approximately half of global deforestation and are major ingredients in the supply chains of most consumer goods companies.

While the scale of commitments is encouraging, meeting them will not be easy. At least six significant challenges need to be overcome, and time is running short.

  1. Achieving supply chain traceability to the farm
  2. Gathering data on whether or not the production has, or will, lead to deforestation
  3. Engaging local governments where problems are identified
  4. Certifying producers to demonstrate they are not clearing the forest
  5. Signing clear and fair agreements between the buyers and producers
  6. Measuring and monitoring to track on-going performance

The entire process is resource-intensive, complex, expensive and time consuming. It can be difficult for companies to do it without external support.

The good news is that there is another global initiative that has been addressing these issues since 2007 called REDD+.

REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation) is a UN initiated international mechanism which creates financial value for the carbon stored in forests. This is achieved by offering incentives for developing countries to reduce emissions from forested lands and invest in low-carbon pathways to sustainable development. The REDD+ community offers a huge network of organisations and individuals which have the expertise and resources to design and implement programmes to reduce deforestation and degradation.

Whilst there are individual examples of the CGF and REDD+ community working together, there has not yet been systematic collaboration on a large scale. This is despite the fact that 100% of CGF and REDD+ organisations recently surveyed by us thought that the two communities should be working closer than they are now.

We’re helping our clients make that connection. Please get in touch to see how we can help you.