A jurisdictional approach can be a useful complement to sustainable sourcing by ensuring that there is sufficient volume and supply of sustainable commodities to make company deforestation-free commitments realizable, and by helping to avoid system leakage whereby sustainable sourcing approaches by some companies are undermined by other companies adopting non-sustainable approaches. This research identifies several emerging trends that could support a jurisdictional approach.
The publication highlights key reasons why jurisdictional approaches are crucial for tackling deforestation. First, they can help to mainstream sustainability in the forest regions versus creating “an oasis of green in a desert of deforestation” where sustainability efforts are undermined by leakage from continued deforestation elsewhere. Second, jurisdictional approaches have the greatest potential for long-term impact by seeking to reconcile competing social, economic, and environmental objectives through active engagement of local institutions. Finally, jurisdictional approaches provide the opportunity to create replicable examples of success to inspire change elsewhere.
Three potential unique roles for TFA partners identified in the study are:
(1) Signal publicly. TFA and its partners could relay to key stakeholders (involved in the jurisdictions) of the importance of the jurisdiction’s sustainable development plans and its associated goals and activities.
(2) Establish sustainable sourcing roadmaps and targets.
(3) Develop a cross-jurisdictional platform to shorten the “learning curve” for jurisdictions by providing a repository of both local and international best practices to engage with the private sector, local communities, smallholders, government agencies, and civil society
This report provides an overall synthesis of jurisdictional sustainability across the tropics based on research in 39 subnational jurisdictions where there are intentions in place towards implementing a low-emission development agenda. These jurisdictions, spread in 12 countries, encompass 28% of the world’s tropical forests and vary widely in both their deforestation rates and the amount of their forest that is remaining.
The study found that nearly all (38 of 39) jurisdictions have signed formal, international scale commitments to slow deforestation and/or accelerate reforestation or forest recovery. Many are financing and implementing innovative policies and programs, prioritizing indigenous peoples, local communities, and smallholder farmers as key beneficiaries of these interventions. Deforestation has declined in half (19 of 39) of the jurisdictions below official projected subnational forest reference levels. These declines in deforestation represent approximately 6.8 GtCO2 e of avoided carbon emissions, attributable to both subnational and national policy interventions and private-sector actions.
The presentation provides brief descriptions of useful landscape tools, resources and standards. These include standard setting initiatives that provide guidance and metrics to measure progress in jurisdictional or landscape initiatives such as the Commodities Jurisdictions Approach (CJA), Climate, Community and Biodiversity Alliance, and Landscape standard. Performance platforms providing information on jurisdictions and jurisdictional and landscape initiatives using a standard set of criteria highlighted include Governors’ Climate and Forest Platform (GCF), Produce Protect Platform, Landscape Assessment Framework.
The presentation also includes case Studies to highlight different types of jurisdictional and landscape initiatives, such as Produce, Conserve, Include (PCI) in Mato Grosso, Brazil, Jurisdictional Palm Oil Certification, and Carbon Fund in Madre de Dios, Peru. Other resources and related initiatives presented include the Accountability Framework initiative (AFi), Tropical Forest Alliance (TFA), and the Balikpapan Challenge.
Key insights include that to reward early progress, performance metrics need to incorporate process indicators (planning, agreeing on goals, setting baseline); inclusive, multistakeholder platforms that include local government are essential to provide structures and mechanisms for developing local compacts, driving progress and reporting and verification; and there’s a need for clear incentives for local producers, that could be promoted by including goals on improving productivity and/or improving farmer livelihoods.
This report by presents a “commodity-first” lens to identifying key landscapes where supply chain companies can make critical interventions to tackle deforestation. As supply chain actors will likely only engage with geographies in their direct supply chain, it focuses on commodity production and utilises recent data on drivers of deforestation to identify landscapes where deforestation is high, driven largely by the expansion of forest-risk commodities.
The study found that transformative impact will require commodity supply chain companies to broaden their efforts to complement individual supply chain action by engaging in jurisdictional approaches. Over a dozen landscapes are of particular importance given commodity production levels and associated deforestation. Amongst the top producing countries, 14 landscapes exhibit particularly high rates of deforestation, in total accounting for 32 percent of the total deforestation across Africa, Asia Pacific and Latin America between 2010 and 2017.
The study also found that a relative lack of jurisdictional approaches in landscapes relevant from a “commodity-first” perspective could create challenges for deeper private sector engagement. Out of about 95 currently active jurisdictional initiatives, only 20 are in the top commodity producing regions. Further, 90 percent of top producing regions of key commodities do not have an active jurisdictional initiative in place.
RSPO Jurisdictional Approach to Certification (JA) is an approach to minimize the negative impact of palm oil cultivation on the environment and on communities, at the scale of government administrative areas, through the stepwise certification of the production and processing of sustainable oil palm products. It involves continuously progressing towards (1) achieving implementation no deforestation, no new planting on peat, ensuring safe and decent working conditions, and upholding human rights at landscape level; and (2) the certification of sustainable production and processing of oil palm products, managed and supported through a multi-stakeholder governed entity (referred as Jurisdictional Entity (JE) within the document).
The approach requires government leadership, support, and collaboration in playing a key role in facilitating a multi-stakeholder process, setting up overall governance, regulations and frameworks to bring jurisdictional members to apply RSPO standards progressively. Jurisdictional Certification will follow the RSPO 2018 Principles & Criteria, as well as other RSPO Standards. The challenge, however, is that the RSPO P&Cs have been developed with plantation concessions and estates, or growers and smallholders in mind, and not whole jurisdictions.
The RSPO Jurisdictional Working Group has agreed upon the framework presented in this document, but notes that new Standards and processes may be needed to address new challenges as they arise.