New report: voluntary commitments no substitute for government action against illegal forest destruction
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Ahead of the Oslo Tropical Forest Forum 2018, Fern and Forest Trends are pleased to share with you “Getting the ‘Bads’ out of Goods: Evolution from voluntary to regulated approaches in reducing the undesirable impacts of global trade" written by Duncan Brack and Michael Wolosin.
The report investigates the historic trajectory of efforts to eliminate illegal and unsustainable behaviour from global supply chains such as diamonds, timber and ozone depleting substances and outlines next steps for tackling the global trade in commercial agricultural products, such as soy, palm oil, beef and cocoa, that are responsible for almost three quarters of tropical deforestation.
It reveals a consistent pattern showing that tackling these ‘bads’ can only be achieved effectively through national and international regulations and agreements. Though voluntary efforts were an important step, they were not enough to curtail the illegal or unsustainable activity in question.
The findings come as the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal target of ending deforestation by 2020 rapidly approaches. Despite hundreds of companies pledging to only purchase agricultural commodities that do not contribute to global deforestation by the year 2020, at least 10 million hectares of tropical forest - an area more than three times the size of Belgium - continues to be lost and degraded every year, harming the forest communities that rely on these forests the most and emitting more than 10 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions per year.
While businesses making voluntary zero-deforestation commitments are welcome, we believe the onus is now on governments in both forested and consumer countries to halt the trade in illegally or unsustainably produced agricultural goods.
For more Information, please consult the following PDF Documents: