Changing business models to conserve forests - iucncongress2020

Faced with the scale of deforestation and the loss of biodiversity, companies are both responsible and are victims. They are responsible by increasing the production of agricultural commodities to serve consumption. Many manufactured products have a negative impact on deforestation or the degradation of natural ecosystems.

 

Examples include meat, eggs and dairy products (which indirectly contain soy used to feed animals), vegetable fats (palm oil), chocolate (cocoa) or tires (natural rubber). Companies become victims in view of the announced shortage of agricultural raw materials due to two drivers: the increase in demand and the reduction of cultivated areas as a result of increased human activity.

 

The ultimate risk for businesses, even beyond recession, is to be judged individually and collectively by consumers and civil society as responsible for the destruction of the commons, with an inevitable trail of disastrous consequences for the economy and ecology at large.

 

The responsibility of deforestation in the COVID-19 pandemic we are currently going through shows us that the private sector has no choice but to urgently take a fundamental step forward by moving away from its "business as usual" model. Companies will have to make a bold commitment to protect the commons, to preserve forests and to restore degraded soils for a healthy and sustainable agriculture to take place, and to restore soils to their full carbon storage potential.

 

The collective cross-commodities and landscape approach to stop deforestation

Our efforts to combat deforestation are still very fragmented by sector and the few local initiatives remain too timid. As individual actions are no longer sufficient, we need more consultation on the very same territories in which we operate: the Amazon, a major soybean, cocoa and coffee production area; Southeast Asia, where palm oil and rubber are produced; and the Congo Basin for the cultivation of cocoa, rubber and palm oil. It is these cross-commodities and landscape synergies that should be exploited to stop deforestation.

 

The Alliance for the Preservation of Forests aims to move forward with an innovative approach. Created in 2018, this alliance intends to implement joint projects and to share resources through the new capabilities that we have. In Borneo, for example, we work with planters and NGOs. Together, we aim to promote the coexistence of palm oil plantations and great apes throughout a mapped territory, by creating preserved forest corridors and linkages that facilitate the movement of animals from one forest to another.

 

The Alliance for the Preservation of Forests will be present at the IUCN World Conservation Congress

The Alliance will be present at the IUCN World Conservation Congress, from 11 to 19 June 2020, in Marseille, through a 150m2 Forest Village located in the “Espaces Générations Nature” (Nature Generation Areas). The Forest Village is designed to raise visitors' awareness about their forest footprint, but also to explain the complex journey of raw materials and the private sector’s efforts to stop deforestation.

 

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