Tag Archives: Deforestation


SAN’s Director will share his expertise on the General Assembly of the Tropical Forest Alliance 2020
09/03/2016


SAN’s Director will share his expertise on the General Assembly of the Tropical Forest Alliance 2020

Over 80 partners of The Tropical Forest Alliance 2020 (TFA 2020) from government, business, civil society, international organizations and local communities will come together to finalise the 2016-18 strategy of TFA 2020, and exchange knowledge, expertise, and best practices on partnering to implement the transition to deforestation-free supply chains.

The TFA 2020 is a global public-private partnership in which partners take voluntary actions, individually and in combination, to reduce the tropical deforestation associated with the sourcing of commodities such as palm oil, soy, beef, and paper and pulp.

Tropical Forest Alliance 2020 Deforestation Climate Change

During the Knowledge Exchange Sessions, the Executive Director of SAN, Andre de Freitas, alongside Richard Donovan (from SAN member Rainforest Alliance) and Mauricio Voivodic (from SAN member in Brasil, Imaflora), will present recently completed research on the impacts of certification from a deforestation and sustainability perspective, and also identify how certification systems are currently adapting to better address new challenges.

The presenters have long experience in on the-ground advisory and independent auditing in forestry and agriculture certification. They have also been involved in corporate and government efforts to halt deforestation.

“TFA 2020 is the leading global public-private partnership working to eliminate deforestation from key commodity supply chains. Its upcoming General Assembly will produce its strategy for the next few years and we are excited to contribute to this and share our experience and positive results on how SAN/Rainforest Alliance certification has not only been effective in tackling deforestation but also in delivering other environmental and social benefits”, said de Freitas.

The Sustainable Agriculture Network (SAN) is partner with the TFA 2020 since last year, since then the SAN has been involved in programs and initiatives to end commodity driven tropical deforestation and has share its knowledge and expertise with other partners.

Also, on the SAN Standard it’s stated that from the date of application for certification onwards, the farm must not destroy any natural ecosystem. Additionally, from November 1, 2005 onwards no high value ecosystems must have been destroyed by or due to purposeful farm management activities.

The Knowledge Sessions will also include discussions about topics such as the importance of land and forest tenure in achieving zero deforestation and sustainable supply chain management goals.

The TFA 2020 will be held in Jakarta, Indonesia on 10-11 March.


The need to improve private sector no deforestation commitments
17/04/2015


The need to improve private sector no deforestation commitments

By Andre de Freitas, SAN Executive Director

The past couple of years have seen a number of commitments to zero deforestation by retailers, brands, traders and producers of commodities like palm oil. While these commitments to deforestation free supply chains are very good news, there are a few aspects on which they need to be strengthened in order to be effective and meaningful on the ground.

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The first aspect to be improved in deforestation free supply chain commitments by the private sector is a clear recognition that no deforestation is not the same as sustainability. Although this sounds very basic and logical, it is remarkable how often you see people treating deforestation free as equivalent to sustainability.

That’s not to say that deforestation is not an important or challenging problem, but we need to put this debate into perspective. What we need is a much clearer private sector commitment to sustainability, with deforestation free as an important and necessary early step, together with a commitment to quickly eliminate a few other unacceptable issues from supply chains.

Another issue that we need to address is the false conflict that is often portrayed between deforestation free commitments and certification. Both are working in the same direction, with deforestation free adopting a broad but shallow approach and certification one that is much more comprehensive though also more challenging to scale up. The two approaches are in fact quite complementary and the implementation of deforestation free commitments should become a stepping stone towards the achievement of high social and environmental standards on the medium or long term.

However, if we want deforestation free supply chain commitments to be effective and credible on the ground, we also need to improve a few aspects related to their implementation:

Clarity on what deforestation free means. There are currently many different interpretations of what deforestation free means. Some use High Carbon Stocks as a yardstick, some include only tropical forests, thus allowing the conversion of valuable savanna forests, some talk about zero net deforestation, while others include social issues in addition to forests. We need clear and consistent standards about what deforestation free means or, even better, what are the unacceptable social and environmental issues that should be excluded from supply chains through these first step commitments.

Increased transparency: We need much more transparency on different issues related to deforestation free commitments, including what exactly are the commitments, where do they apply and how progress is being verified and reported.

–  Better oversight on implementation: there are very few checks and balances on how deforestation free commitments are being implemented. Many are being verified using consultants, outside of any structured framework that would better ensure that they have the necessary qualifications and independence to assess what are complex, delicate and often controversial issues on the ground.

The final point to keep in mind with regards to private sector deforestation free commitments is that alone they are unlikely to succeed. Deforestation is a very complex problem and as a society we will need a range of initiatives to finally address it, including better forest governance, voluntary standards and certification, corporate commitments and an open discussion on eating habits of a growing and more affluent population, among others.

The above perspectives are part of a growing feedback by civil society, which recognizes the value of and welcomes the private sector commitments to eliminate deforestation from their supply chains, but also sees the need to bring more clarity and strengthen their implementation. See also Rainforest Alliance’s recently published position paper about Halting deforestation and achieving sustainability.


SAN will be part of the global event combating deforestation this week
13/04/2015


SAN will be part of the global event combating deforestation this week

SAN’s Executive Director, Andre de Freitas, will be speaking on the 15th of April at a conference on how business can tackle deforestation, organized by the Innovation Forum. This global event on combating deforestation – a follow up to a London meeting in October 2014 – is designed to be an annual meeting place that discusses the trends, debates the issues, connects the key players and drives change.

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 “One of the challenges of some discussions on how to tackle deforestation is a perception that there is or will be a single solution to this issue. Deforestation is a very complex problem and as a society we will need a range of initiatives to finally address it, including better governance, voluntary standards, corporate commitments and an open discussion on eating habits and population growth, among others,” he explained.

“How business can tackle deforestation” is a global event designed to help companies to understand deforestation risk, benchmark policies and collaborate effectively with NGOs to combat deforestation.

This annual meeting place that discusses the trends, debates the issues, connects the key players and drives change.

Some of the topics will be discussed are:

  • The legal risks of not knowing your supply chain – The latest trends and what they mean for business
  • How business is responding – Hear how leading firms are putting targets into action
  • Develop credible policy – Find out how to fit deforestation into your sustainability framework
  • Beyond certification – In-depth critical analysis of certification’s limits, and how to go beyond them
  • Leverage supplier engagement – Learn how to communicate with and incentivize your suppliers for improved traceability
  • Successfully engage with government – How can business effectively engage with government to close the enforcement gap?