More than 1.5 billion people depend directly on forests for their livelihoods, but about 7.6 million ha of tropical forest are lost every year — an area roughly the size of the Czech Republic. The loss of forests, and the accompanying loss of biodiversity, puts us in a downward spiral: apart from threatening the security and livelihoods of local communities, it reduces our access to clean water, decreases soil productivity and accounts for 12 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. Read more+
Soy, beef and palm oil are used in a wide range of foods and goods that are consumed by billions of people around the world. They yield about US$92 billion a year to producers, many of whom are small-scale rural farmers. And they are also responsible for about 80 percent of tropical deforestation.
Anticipated global economic growth and changing diets will strengthen the demand for agricultural commodities and place additional pressure on forests. The challenge is to develop business models that can manage sustainable commodity production, while also maintaining forests and important ecosystem services. To achieve this will require the combined efforts of governments, businesses, consumers and civil society organizations.
What We Do
In 2015, the GEF approved a five-year, US$45 million Integrated Pilot Program called Taking Deforestation out of Commodity Supply Chains. Instead of treating production-side and demand-side interventions as separate tracks, our approach makes them mutually supportive by enabling commercial transactions. By balancing the two forces of supply and demand, we can move faster toward sustainability.
The program offers a wide range of support along and across entire commodity value chains. It invests at supply chain points that can address specific barriers. And it also links successful, but isolated initiatives, so they can be replicated throughout the sector. Read more+
A number of initiatives in major producer countries promote sustainable production of commodities. The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil, Tropical Forest Alliance, and Consumer Goods Forum, for example, attempt to influence supply chain actors. They work toward diverting the frontier for commodities away from primary forests and areas of high conservation value. Through its program, the GEF wants to link these efforts with the work of governments and others along the entire global supply chain for soy, beef and oil palm. We also aim to strengthen engagement with a wide range of stakeholders — from smallholder farmers to global corporations.
On the supply side, our program will work toward three results:
- enhanced understanding within the public, private and financial sectors of commodity-linked deforestation and the future consequences of increased production
- strengthened capacity and enabling environment for sustainable commodities through support for land-use policy, planning and governance
- enhanced use of sustainable production practices by commodity producers, particularly smallholders.
These will be linked with demand-side support to raise awareness of buyers and traders about the issue.
Ultimately, the program will build capacity for developing solutions that move production patterns away from deforestation toward more sustainable practices. To that end, the program offers incentives to the finance sector for pilot projects that invest in commodity production and trade.
The program will also share knowledge and experiences, not only among partners, but with the wider community. This will help embed the program’s aims into national and corporate policies. And it will ensure a more balanced approach is increasingly accepted as the commercial norm in the commodities sector.
The program aims to bring 39 million hectares under sustainable land management and mitigate 66 million tons GHG emissions through its support for transformational shifts towards low-emission and resilient commodity production.
To be invested in removing deforestation from commodity supply chains
Hectares of land to be sustainably managed
tCO2e emissions to be mitigated through more resilient supply chains