After our successful conference last week in Singapore on this topic, I put together some musings on the plane home.
We had 150 of the ‘right’ people in the room. Key companies, NGOs, suppliers, government. All of suitable seniority.
Here’s the headlines as I see them: (UPDATE 09/10/15: the MUCH longer version has now been published, go here to view it)
1) No/zero deforestation pledges ARE making an impact.
2) Governments are finally waking up. As haze chokes their voters.
3) Incentives are improving. Slowly.
4) The SDGs and COP21 will be a major boost to the No deforestation movement.
5) Governments are pushing back as economic growth concerns grow.
6) Companies are not integrating community engagement policies into on the ground solution as well or as fast as they indicated.
7) However companies and others are often caught in the middle of difficult, sometimes-intractable land use and rights issues.
8) Smallholder farmers are becoming prominent in the debate.
9) Yet they, rural communities and smaller/medium sized companies (plus apparently some criminal gangs) are burning and clearing land
10) NGOs need to be more consistent and not just target leading companies over smaller rivals with less brand ‘air time’
11) Certification is both under the microscope and less on the agenda.
I’ve worked up a 3000 word version of this (it was a long flight!) and will publish that on here once it’s been edited this week.
I may add a few bullets, as this week I am California in the lovely Olympic Valley, for the Sustainable Forestry Initiative conference, where Scott Poynton and I will be debating the zero deforestation movement outside the US. I shall be attempting to learn more about the North American situation. From what I can gather, it’s unsurprisingly just as complex in its own way. Some areas, like campaigner/NGO relations, are not that different it seems. More on all this, and the above bullets, soon.
(UPDATE 09/10/15: the MUCH longer version has now been published, go here to view it)
Come and join us in London in a few weeks to discuss all this in person and meet key folks:
Innovation in sustainable forestry: technology, risk and collaboration
2nd-3rd November 2015, London
With: Danone, Kimberly-Clark, M&S, Agropalma, Mars, International Paper, Mondelez, Golden Veroleum, Neste Oil, Carrefour and many many others, including the key NGOs
How business can tackle deforestation – innovation in sustainable forestry: technology, risk and collaboration is the fourth in our global series of events about how companies can combat deforestation. The conference will bring together corporate practitioners, key NGOs and community representatives to discuss the trends and debate the issues in the deforestation space.
The event in London is designed to bring maximum value for delegates and inspire collective action through an interactive and engaging agenda.
Implementation and collaboration – Find out how far corporate-NGO collaboration has come and what needs to happen next to drive sustainable change.
The legal and reputational risk of not knowing your supply chain – The latest trends and what they mean for business.
Corporate progress – Hear how leading brands are making progress implementing their deforestation policies.
Beyond certification – In-depth critical analysis of certification’s limits, and how to go beyond them.
Technology – Preventing deforestation via pulp, paper and palm oil innovation.