Zero-deforestation Event & ALV
On Thursday 7 February 2019 the VTB organised an event on Zero-deforestation Commitments, combined with the annual VTB General Assembly (Algemene Ledenvergadering, ALV).
15:00-18:00 Zero-deforestation Commitments Event
18:00-19:00 Dinner (members only)
19:00-21:00 VTB Algemene Ledenvergadering (members only, in Dutch)
EVENT ZERO-NET-DEFORESTATION COMMITMENTS
When: Thursday 7 February, 15:00-18:00
Where: Camping Ganspoort, Helling 87, 3523 CB Utrecht
Market-based mechanisms have been extensively used in global commodity value chains to address socio-economic and environmental sustainability issues inherent in the processes from farm to consumer. Degradation across the humid tropics has occurred on a larger scale since the late 1940s, with notably rapid expansion since the 1990s. The deforestation and degradation that the production of commodities such as cocoa, coffee, soy and palm oil has caused, has long been recognised and recently spotlighted, due to, for example, cocoa encroachment into the few remaining forested protected areas in West Africa and rising consumer and industry awareness. This has led to governments to commit to the 2015 Amsterdam Declaration and manufacturers to publicly commit to end deforestation in their supply chains at the COP23 UN Climate Change Conference and a recent request for consultation on the EU Roadmap towards a communication on stepping up Action against deforestation and degradation.
Arguably, zero deforestation commodities exist only when forests have already disappeared, or where protected forested areas in commodity landscapes have been continuously maintained. Are decreases in commodity-related deforestation attributable to market-based sustainability initiatives and governance – such as CSR schemes, partnerships and certification - real or are they a myth? Globally tropical forests continue to disappear at an alarming rate. There is a growing body, including private sector itself, that recognizes the need to go beyond certification and that market based approaches alone can’t create the necessary conditions for change. Hence the growing calls for due diligence and regulation. Zero deforestation initiatives have been taken up by both stakeholders from private and civil society sectors, and public-private consortia.
We will hear perspectives from companies, NGOs, consultants and government representatives on what’s been going on recently. We will then debate “zero deforestation” initiatives as market-based means to restoring commodity forest landscapes: what is the progress to date? Are they effective? Do they create the necessary framework for change? Are they sufficient to achieve deforestation-free commodities?
The VTB, as network of professionals and students concerned with tropical forests, provides a unique perspective on zero deforestation due to the broad range of expertise, experience and different perspectives of its members. We have also invited non-VTB members. All participants are invited to join the discussions and breakout sessions.