Authority of Second-Tier Governments to Reduce Deforestation in 30 Tropical Countries

The authority of state- and province-level governments (“second-tier governments”) to make decisions related to slowing deforestation independently of national governments varies widely across countries. Here we systematically catalog whether second-tier governments in 30 tropical countries with high projected future emissions from deforestation possess 14 distinct types of general and forest-related authority.

We compile this information in a free, open-access database. Second-tier governments have broadest authority to reduce deforestation in India, Brazil, Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, Peru, China, Laos, Mozambique, and Vietnam. Second-tier governments have the least authority in Central African Republic, Gabon, Angola, Madagascar, Bolivia, Cambodia, Cameroon, Guyana, Suriname, Thailand, and Venezuela. Second-tier governments have intermediate authority in Democratic Republic of Congo, Ecuador, Mexico, the Philippines, Colombia, Myanmar, Tanzania, Zambia, and Republic of Congo. Authorities that second-tier governments most commonly possess include development planning, taxation, budgeting, and roads.

Authorities that second-tier governments least commonly possess include land ownership, police, permits for mining, Indigenous affairs, and protected areas. Authorities possessed by an intermediate number of second-tier governments include spatial planning, elections, courts, and permits for agriculture. More than one-quarter of future emissions from deforestation between 2020 and 2050 is projected to come from just seven out of 678 second-tier jurisdictions: Amazonas, Pará, and Mato Grosso (Brazil), Équateur and Orientale (Democratic Republic of Congo), Loreto (Peru), and El Beni (Bolivia).

Jurisdictional Sourcing: Leveraging Commodity Supply Chains to Reduce Tropical Deforestation at Scale. A Generic Theory of Change for a Conservation Strategy, v1.0

Expansion of agricultural commodity production is driving rapid deforestation in tropical countries. Several strategies including jurisdictional planning and producer or sectoral-level sourcing/certification have been used to counter this threat, each with its own limitations. There is growing interest in using jurisdictional sourcing (JS) as a hybrid that combines the best elements of each of these strategies. Specifically, JS involves bringing together key stakeholders in a given national or sub-national political jurisdiction to agree on a land-use plan that maintains forest ecosystems while promoting enhanced commodity production on degraded lands. As with any conservation strategy, the key questions are what defines JS and under what conditions is it likely to work?

To help address these questions, we convened a group of practitioners/experts to develop a theory of change that explicitly defines what JS entails from both the perspective of a given jurisdiction as well as a global markets point of view. We also developed generic objectives and indicators that can be used to measure performance. We then vetted our initial drafts with a wider circle of JS practitioners/experts as well as through a review of relevant literature and against seven case studies. It is our hope that this framework can be used to inform the collection of more standardized data across JS strategies being implemented in different locations and conditions.

Jurisdictional Approaches to Sustainable Resource Use

Tropical forests are under increasing pressure, but conservation interventions have had only limited success in mitigating deforestation and ecosystem degradation. Over the past decade, however, jurisdictional approaches to sustainable resource use have attracted increasing attention as a potential alternative to traditional conservation strategies. These approaches operate within formal administrative boundaries and seek to establish policies and practices that apply to all stakeholders.

The authors compiled a global database of conservation initiatives and developed a definition and typology for jurisdictional approaches; of the 80 initiatives included in our database, 25 met this definition. The authors categorized these jurisdictional approaches according to two criteria: the focus of the intervention and the degree of government involvement. These jurisdictions encompassed approximately 40% of global tropical forests, with most experiencing higher-than-average deforestation rates. Although jurisdictional approaches harbor the potential to overcome the limitations of previous approaches, numerous challenges for implementation and operation remain. In addition, because most jurisdictional initiatives currently in operation are still early in their lifecycles, the long-term effectiveness of this strategy has yet to be proven

Landscape Sourcing: Sustainable Business Using the Landscape Approach

As environmental pressures intensify, companies are facing looming threats regarding the reliability, quality and quantity of supply chain inputs. Forward-thinking companies have recognised that the environmental and social impact of their operations cannot be solved by site-based approaches alone. Landscape approaches can address these important gaps in sustainability planning by taking a more holistic methodology.

This report makes a case for how the business sector can support, and benefit from, landscape approaches as a supplement to promoting sustainability within supply chains. Specifically, the authors define landscape sourcing as product sourcing that contributes positively to the goals of a sustainable landscape through credible product certification coupled with consideration of social and ecological implications of management at landscape scale.

While committing to a landscape approach is a serious decision for any business, the authors believe there are sound arguments to support this concept, including:

CGF Forest Positive Coalition of Action Soy Roadmap: Version 1.1

The Consumer Goods Forum (CGF) has created the Forest Positive Coalition of Action, led by 20 companies with a collective market value of US$1.8 trillion, to leverage collective action and accelerate systemic efforts to remove deforestation, forest degradation and conversion from key commodity supply chains, while supporting sustainable forest management, conservation and restoration. The Coalition believes that its collective reach will enable members to make progress on four goals:
(1) Accelerate efforts to remove commodity-driven deforestation from individual supply chains.
(2) Set higher expectations for traders to act across their entire supply base.
(3) Drive transformational change in key commodity landscapes.
(4) Define measurable outcomes on which all members agree to track and report individually and collectively

The Soy Roadmap lays out the specific commitments, actions and KPIs that the group will implement to drive change, recognising equal responsibility but different activities for direct soy buyers and users of embedded soy. Element 4 of the Soy Roadmap highlights the Coalition’s commitment to engage in soy production landscapes. Building on the progress made by other initiatives in the soy sector, the Coalition will focus on actions where members’ collaboration can add the most value towards a forest positive sector.

Mapping Commitment of Subnational Governments to Sustainable Land Use in Southeast Asia

This study provides useful insights on the commitment of subnational governments to sustainable land use in Indonesia and Malaysia by examining 53 jurisdictions, including districts, provinces, and states, that have been identified as key to remove deforestation from commodity production or have started the implementation of elements of sustainability at jurisdictional level. Findings from this study are expected to support companies, NGOs, and development partners interested in utilising the jurisdictional approach to achieve sustainability at scale in these countries, the world’s largest producers of palm oil.

Researchers examined several parameters to demonstrate subnational governments’ commitment to sustainable land use, representing key elements of the implementation of the jurisdictional approach. These include (a) statement of commitments to sustainable land use; (b) regulations and policies (c) multi stakeholders governance structure; and (d) involvement and/or membership of sustainability or forest and climate initiatives. Data collected was divided into five categories of topics, namely forest and peat, green growth, disaster and environmental management, sustainable commodities, and support for indigenous peoples.

Key findings include how the topics addressed by a jurisdiction in its public statements and regulations on sustainable land use appeared to be linked to the size of its forest and conservation area — the larger these areas are, the more topics are addressed in the jurisdiction. ‘Peer-to-Peer’ and networking learning style through membership-based initiatives and existence of program(s) focusing on sustainable land use in their area could support jurisdictions to improve understanding and progress on sustainability.

Palm Oil Forest Footprint: Aceh Province Analysis

This report was developed from a pilot exercise conducted by Nestlé, supported by Earthworm Foundation and using Starling satellite mapping and existing data, to better understand the company’s exposure to risks of future deforestation and land rights conflicts in Aceh province in Indonesia. Nestlé conducted the analysis as it seeks to “evolve from a no-deforestation strategy to a ‘forest-positive’ one”, in which the company sources from suppliers actively conserving and restoring forests, while promoting sustainable livelihoods and respecting human rights.

The Aceh Forest Footprint analysis mapped forest areas, peatlands and community lands located within or in proximity to (1) available sourcing boundaries with confirmed links to mills in Nestlé’s supply chain; (2) available sourcing boundaries without confirmed links to mills in our supply chain but that could enter Nestlé’s supply chain in the future; and (3) a 5, 20 and 50km radius around mills in our supply chain for which Nesté did not have sourcing boundaries.

Findings include that 89,667 hectares of forest and peat areas were found within palm oil concessions in the region, and another 1.45 million hectares of forested within 50km or mills in Nestlé’s supply chain was found suitable for palm oil. Engaging suppliers and producer groups further upstream on their commitments to protect these areas has been identified as essential. Conducting High Carbon Stock Approach (HCSA), High Conservation Value (HCV) and Free, Prior, and Informed Consent (FPIC) assessments prior to future development must be central to Nestlés supply chain engagement strategy.

The Jurisdictional Approach in Indonesia: Incentives, Actions, and Facilitating Connections

Understood as a more comprehensive approach to low-emissions development than jurisdictional-scale accounting for REDD+, the Jurisdictional Approach (JA) was seen as a way to address challenges faced by early efforts to implement corporate commitments to deforestation-free supply chains. JA initiatives sought to align government-led, multistakeholder processes within provinces and districts with prospective external incentives for jurisdictional-scale performance.

Over the past several years, the community of JA proponents and practitioners had grown rapidly and coalesced around a common understanding of what the approach entails. Credible, locally led JA initiatives were underway with international support in at least a dozen provinces and districts, and a national platform had been established to link districts that had committed to sustainability. Those initiatives were accompanied by active discourses on proposals for fiscal transfers and preferential market access to provide incentives for improved jurisdictional-scale performance based on indicators such as reduced deforestation.

While it is too early to assess the ability of JA to generate significant results, practitioners have identified a number of constraints. Those include still-limited material incentives for change compared to the factors that drive businessas-usual deforestation, limited availability of spatial data for better land-use planning, low capacity of district-level officials, and misalignment of government policies between subnational and national entities and across ministries. In order to adequately test the JA theory of change, greater emphasis on creating external incentives and linking JA initiatives across jurisdictions and scales is needed to complement the facilitation of activities within individual provinces and districts.

LandScale Assessment Framework: Version 0.2

LandScale, developed by Rainforest Alliance, Verra and Conservation International, provides a standardized approach for assessing and communicating the sustainability performance of landscapes. The framework aims to enable the private sector, governments, and civil society to access reliable information that can guide and incentivize sustainability improvements at scale.

This document presents the assessment framework, which is grounded in key international norms and methods for assessing sustainability, including the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The framework is structured hierarchically to meet the dual needs of global consistency and local adaptability, defining core indicators, landscape-related indicators and optional indicators for ecosystems, human well-being, governance and production as the pillars of sustainability. Pillars and goals provide a holistic structure for assessing sustainability, which users can tailor to different landscapes by selecting context-appropriate indicators and performance metrics.

The Version 0.2 of the Framework has incorporated feedback received on Version 0.1 in the second half of 2019. LandScale Version 0.2 was open for public consultation until December 2020 and has been trialed in 10 landscapes around the world.

Sintang District, West Kalimantan, Indonesia: Jurisdictional Sustainability Profile

This district profile includes key data related to sustainability in Sintang district in West Kalimantan, Indonesia, and and a brief assessment of its progress towards jurisdictional sustainability. The profile has been developed collaboratively by the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), Sintang Government, Earth Innovation Institute, Sustainable Districts Association (Lingkar Temu Kabupaten Lestari, or LTKL) and the civil society organization coalition Forum Komunikasi Masyarakat Sintang.

Starting to be conceptualised in 2018, Sintang Lestari (Sustainable Sintang) Vision seeks to optimize socio-economic benefits while maintaining integrity of natural resources and the environment. Its key implementing regulation, Sintang Lestari Regional Action Plan (RAD-SL), aims to facilitate a systemic transition to sustainability; it is the basis for government agencies to implement work and strategic plans to achieve this vision. Designed with inputs from various stakeholders and facilitated by Conservation Strategy Fund (CSF) Indonesia, RAD-SL has seven “missions” aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), with performance indicators, goals/targets, and a roadmap to 2030.

A multi-stakeholder forum (Joint Secretariat, or SekBer) involving representatives from the local government, CSOs and its Forum, indigenous peoples, and the private sectorhas been established as a transparent institutional governance system to encourage the implementation of RAD-SL, improve local government capacity, and bridge communication between stakeholders.