Tapping global expertise on jurisdictional approaches to deforestation | WWF

Tapping global expertise on jurisdictional approaches to deforestation

Posted on 25 May 2017
Participants at the workshop in Brasilia, Brazil
© Maria Fernanda Maia
Brasilia, Brazil – Last week, WWF convened a group of global conservation experts to share lessons learned from several pioneering initiatives that address commodity-driven deforestation. These “jurisdictional approaches” include a suite of emerging strategies to decouple ecosystem conversion and the production of goods such as beef, soy, palm oil, and pulp & paper by aligning the priorities and investments of government, civil society, and the private sector.

“Commodity production is the foremost cause of deforestation worldwide,” said Edegar Oliveira, Head of the Food and Agriculture Program at WWF-Brazil. “Jurisdictional approaches are compelling models to break this causation. Complementary to other approaches, such as supply chain engagement and enabling policies, they can catalyze efforts from different sectors, markets, and stakeholders to work together to actually improve production practices, governance, and land protection.”

The workshop brought together cross-sectoral practitioners and thought leaders to unpack and analyze the progress of jurisdictional initiatives from around the world, such as those in Colombia’s vast Orinoco basin, Ghana’s cocoa producing region, and in the Brazilian state of Acre. It was the first gathering of its kind, focused on deeply examining each initiative’s theory of change, successes, and obstacles to overcome, with an eye towards sharing these lessons with practitioners in many additional tropical geographies.

A representative from Mato Grosso, Brazil detailed the state’s efforts to re-envision rural development and climate change mitigation. A multi-stakeholder governance body with equal voting power split between governmental, non-governmental, and private sector entities, has agreed on common overarching targets for commodity production, environmental conservation, and social inclusion; mapped all relevant initiatives already underway within the state; and is developing institutions to align, fundraise for, and monitor progress against these goals, paving the way for more coordinated implementation.

IDH, the Sustainable Trade Initiative discussed its pioneering work in southeast Liberia, focused on creating effective mechanisms that support investments in community oil palm farms, while leveraging these investments to create incentives for forest conservation. Working with Liberia’s Forestry Development Authority and palm oil concession holders, IDH is brokering “produce-protect” agreements that will provide jobs and agricultural training to interested communities that commit to protect and monitor nearby forest areas.

“Having all of these ‘boots-on-the-ground’ experts in one room comparing experiences made it possible to get a much clearer picture of what is working and what these initiatives need in order to advance,” said Lloyd Gamble, Director of Forest and Climate at WWF-US. “It also provided a collaborative space for participants to directly ask for assistance from one another and to provide tailored feedback on specific challenges.”

Several clear themes emerged from the discussions. For example, each case study showed that robust multi-stakeholder dialogues centered on communities that live in and depend on forests for their livelihoods are essential both to smart program design and to build trust among partners. A number of the initiatives also stressed the importance of public sector leadership while concurrently cultivating support of broader constituencies that are resilient to political changes. All agreed that coherent communication and identification of “win-win” outcomes across sectors that do not regularly collaborate are crucial ingredients to success (e.g., resilience of supply chains and the economic base they support is a widely-shared goal and can go hand-in-hand with land-use planning and conservation of forests and other ecosystems).

WWF will release a written report in the coming months that capture the lessons from the workshop for all types of actors working on jurisdictional approaches to addressing commodity-driven deforestation.

For additional information, please contact Akiva Fishman.

Tradução para português aqui.
Participants at the workshop in Brasilia, Brazil
© Maria Fernanda Maia Enlarge

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