Symposium Discusses Supply Chain and Deforestation Links
Photo by Lynn Wagner
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The 'International Symposium on the Promotion of Deforestation-Free Global Supply Chains to Contribute to Halting Deforestation' was organized by the Forestry Agency of Japan with support from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) and the International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO).

Outcomes will feed into the 'International Conference on Halting Deforestation and Increasing Forest Area - from Aspiration to Action,' organized by the Collaborative Partnership on Forests (CPF) and hosted by FAO, at the end of February.

30 January 2018: An international symposium in Tokyo, Japan, showcased initiatives aiming at developing forestry-related supply chains that are beneficial for small producers while meeting global zero-deforestation commitments, such as in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Aichi Biodiversity Targets.

The Forestry Agency of Japan with support from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) and the International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO) held the ‘International Symposium on the Promotion of Deforestation-Free Global Supply Chains to Contribute to Halting Deforestation’ from 23-24 January 2018. Gathering forestry experts and government and private sector representatives, the symposium emphasized corporate commitments and collective pledges to halt deforestation and forest degradation. Companies are expected to show how and why they are increasingly eager to remove agricultural-commodity-driven deforestation from their supply chains, FAO has noted.

“It is no longer possible to address sustainable forestry, agriculture, and food security separately,” said Eva Müller, FAO.

Eva Müller, FAO, noted that agriculture remains the main driver of deforestation, and called for promoting “more positive interactions and synergies” between the two sectors. She added that “it is no longer possible to address sustainable forestry, agriculture, and food security separately.”

ITTO’s Executive Director Gerhard Dieterle underscored that while deforestation has been the subject of considerable global deliberation, forest degradation has been underestimated. The way to address both deforestation and forest degradation is from the demand side, he noted, where value supply chains have a role to play in encouraging good practices for the sustainable production, marketing and use of timber. He urged countries and businesses to step up their procurement and consumption of verified legal and sustainable commodities.

Toshimasa Masuyama, Deputy Director, International Forestry Cooperation Office, Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Japan, highlighted key messages. These included that: deforestation-free global supply chains play a critical role in achieving many SDGs and Aichi targets; the private sector should establish sound procurement policies and continue to disclose information concerning their implementation status; efforts should be made to build capacity for establishing and operating verified legal and sustainable supply chains; businesses and institutions may contribute to such chains by joining forces in platforms and consortiums; efforts should be made to develop and disseminate innovation tools to improve market transparency, and enhance the credibility and reliability of procurement policies; commitments to zero-deforestation and disclosure of their implementation status are increasingly linked to worldwide environmental, social and governance investments; public-private partnerships should be further strengthened; awareness of consumers should be raised on the underlying causes of deforestation; particular attention should be paid to addressing forest degradation; and land-use policies should be taken into consideration.

The outcomes of the Symposium will contribute to the International Conference on ‘Halting Deforestation and Increasing Forest Area – from Aspiration to Action,’ which is being organized by the Collaborative Partnership on Forests and hosted by FAO at its headquarters in Rome, Italy, from 20-22 February 2018. The Rome conference will bring together a wide range of partners to promote dialogue across sectors and stakeholder groups on actions to be taken globally and nationally to help achieve, in particular, SDG 15.2 (halting deforestation by 2020) and target 1.1 of the UN Strategic Plan for Forests 2017-2030 (increasing forest area by 3% worldwide). [FAO Press Release] [ITTO Press Release] [Symposium Agenda]

 


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