New framework offers clear guidance for turning deforestation & conversion-free commitments into action

Posted on June, 07 2019

The Accountability Framework will serve as the backbone of WWF’s call to companies to set, implement, and measure their commitments.
12 June, 2019 - WWF is pleased to support the launch of the Accountability Framework, a set of core principles, guidelines, and definitions that clarify how companies can credibly meet commitments to eliminate deforestation, conversion, and human rights violations from their commodity supply chains.
The Framework was developed by the Accountability Framework initiative (AFi), a coalition of leading social and environmental NGOs that co-created guidance – tested through multiple rounds of consultation with the private sector and other stakeholders – on setting, implementing, and reporting on deforestation and conversion-free commitments.
The Framework provides guidance to help companies understand how to navigate the array of tools and approaches that have risen over the past decade.
“For years, we’ve struggled to define what actually constitutes deforestation and how progress on commitments can be monitored,” said Kavita Prakash-Mani, WWF Global Conservation Director. “With the launch of the Accountability Framework, there’s no longer an excuse for inaction. There’s a clear roadmap now of what needs to be done to actually eliminate deforestation and conversion, and it’s critical that those who have made commitments use the Accountability Framework to see how far they’ve come.”    
The Framework will serve as the backbone of WWF’s call to companies to set, implement, and measure their commitments.
WWF sits on the Steering Committee of AFi and, together with other members, put in years of effort to ensure that the guidance reflects our own expertise as well as best practices from the private sector, and that it is credible and feasible.
The Accountability Framework provides robust and commonly agreed definitions for key terms like “forest”, “deforestation”, “natural ecosystem”, and “conversion”, developed through a multi-stakeholder process. It is an international reference that all companies can use, regardless of geography or commodity, and provides parameters for recognizing credible definitions and guidance that have been developed locally while offering additional definitions and guidance to fill gaps.
The Framework also affords critical guidance for governments looking to develop and implement targets around deforestation and conversion. Several governments have acknowledged their role in producing and sourcing products linked to deforestation, and numerous countries have pledged to halt deforestation and reverse land degradation under the Aichi Targets, New York Declaration on Forests, and Sustainable Development Goals. For governments looking to address deforestation and conversion via policy mechanisms, the Framework provides credible definitions and best practices for companies engaged in commodity supply chains, which can help inform design of robust policies relating to the private sector. For governments that play a direct role in commodity production or purchasing, such as for public procurement, the Framework’s guidance on commitment implementation can inform clear action on eliminating deforestation and conversion from government operations.
“We know that deforestation and conversion won’t be halted by 2020,” said Prakash-Mani. “The Accountability Framework presents an important opportunity to change business as usual and put the public and private sectors on a concrete and faster pathway to realize their commitments.”
Aerial view over the rainforest showing transect deforestation
Aerial view over the rainforest showing transect deforestation
© Staffan Widstrand / WWF