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Climate Action 2014-2015

DEFORESTATION AND REDD+

DEFORESTATION AND REDD+ forests; the international community needs to deliver on its promise to include large scale economic incentives for reduced forest emissions in any new climate agreement; the private sector needs to eliminate deforestation from its supply chains; indigenous peoples must be empowered to continue to play the critical role which they have historically played in protecting forests; and CSOs can provide critical expertise and support to all of these actors, as well as keep us all accountable. The most powerful aspect of the Summit was the dialogue and spirit of co-operation between these diverse stakeholders. In the run-up to the Summit and on the day itself, it was encouraging to hear leaders from the different sectors lay out what they can bring to the table, and express clearly what they need in return in order to address deforestation. PRIVATE SECTOR RESPONSE Agriculture has been a major driver of tropical deforestation. The past year, however, has seen substantial progress as major global traders of palm oil, representing 60 per cent of the global trade, have adopted zero-deforestation policies. At the Summit a joint palm oil pledge was announced by the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce in partnership with major palm oil producers Golden Agri-Resources, Wilmar International and Cargill, covering all their operations as well as those of their suppliers. These companies committed to principles aimed at ensuring zero deforestation, protecting human rights, and promoting social development, and called on producer governments to codify all elements of their pledge in laws and enforce them. PROGRESS FOR NEXT YEAR According to Helen Clark, what needs to happen between now and 2015’s COP in Paris? Developing forest countries can put forward nationally-determined mitigation contributions which include ambitious goals and policies to reduce forest loss and increase reforestation. They could identify how much they can achieve unilaterally, as well as how much more they could do with international support. They should continue to enhance their implementation and enforcement of land-use reforms to grow their economies through decoupling deforestation from growth in agricultural output. This will take political will, and the international community needs to support these efforts. Advanced economies need to deliver large-scale economic incentives in the context of the new climate agreement. In particular, we need to see predictable, large-scale, and sustainable REDD+ payments for performance as part of the Paris deal, either as part of countries’ nationally-determined mitigation contributions, or through climate finance. If 2014 was the year when the private sector came forward in full force to tackle deforestation, 2015 should be the year when governments respond and deliver in full force on the promise of REDD+, which they have worked hard over the last seven years to design. The importance of this can hardly be overstated – the two degree warming limit is in the balance. The private sector must eliminate deforestation from its supply chains without delay. This will mean broadening the scope of progressive sustainability practices to cover other commodities, and to include more key companies in both developed and developing countries. This will also require governments of both developed and developing countries to create enabling environments for companies to achieve these goals, through policy and governance reforms, technical assistance and finance, and, critically, matching the supply chain commitments of the leading private sector companies. Indigenous peoples must be empowered to continue to play the vital role that they have historically played in protecting forests. That means we need to see governments formalise and protect their rights, and the private sector must respect their right to give or withhold free, prior and informed consent. We must see conflicts resolved in a manner consistent with good governance, equity and respect for human rights. This positive private sector engagement must be nurtured and encouraged. At the Summit, we heard very clearly from CEOs of major companies like Unilever, Cargill, Asia Pulp and Paper and Golden Agri-Resources how government policies in the forest countries where they operate and in the developed countries where many of their goods are consumed have a "Major global traders of palm oil, representing 60 per cent of the global trade, have adopted zero-deforestation policies." 122

DEFORESTATION AND REDD+ Panelists at the Forests Plenary, Left-Right: Teras Narang, Governor of Central Kalimantan; Edwin Vasquez, COICA, Kumi Naidoo, Greenpeace International; David MacLennan, CEO, Cargill, Franky Widjaja, CEO, Golden Agri-Resources; Paul Polman, CEO, Unilever Credit: Dearbhla Keegan, UNDP huge bearing on how far they can go to ‘green’ their supply chains. We heard from these companies that they need the forest countries where they operate to enact land use reforms which shift agricultural expansion to non-forested lands; clarify overlapping forest concessions; improve transparency around concessions; and recognise and protect the customary land rights of communities and indigenous peoples. They also need forest countries to strengthen the enforcement of forest laws. Without regulatory reform, it will prove impossible for many companies to implement the no-deforestation policies they have announced. "This spirit of collaboration and partnership provides the strongest possible framework for continued progress." towards conservation. Critically, they called on the international community to deliver on their commitment to include large-scale economic incentives for REDD+ in the new climate agreement to be reached in Paris next year, to support the necessary regulatory changes in producer countries. products by no later than 2020...” This represents strong government buyin to this private sector goal by the 35 countries that have endorsed the Declaration to date. MAJOR COUNTRY COMMITMENTS Companies also asserted that they need developed countries to create strong financial incentives for deforestationfree commodity production, through procurement and trade policies that favour sustainably produced commodities. Public policies have the power to alter the balance of financial incentives away from forest clearing and It is encouraging that the Summit did have clear and positive responses to these requests. The New York Declaration on Forests, for example, commits parties to “support and help meet the private sector goal of eliminating deforestation from the production of agricultural commodities such as palm oil, soy, paper and beef The announcements which developing and developed countries, as well as states and provinces, made at the Summit also demonstrated responsiveness to the needs of private sector actors who are committed to zero deforestation. Germany, Norway and the United Kingdom voiced their support for the climateactionprogramme.org 123