Deforestation-free supply chains

 

Forests cover one-third of the Earth's surface and are the habitat of many of the world's known animal and plant species and important climate protectors. In addition, they are a livelihood for more than 1.6 billion people.  

 

But the forests are threatened. Forest disappears every four seconds the size of a soccer field. About half of the global forest destruction concerns the tropical forests on the Equator, one of the most important growing areas for agricultural commodities such as palm oil, soy, rubber, coffee and cocoa.  

 

The wide clearing often goes back to large companies and their plantations. Due to the disastrous income situation, low productivity and crop failures as a result of climatic changes, however, many smallholder families are forced to expand their cultivated areas and clear valuable forest for it.

Impact on the climate

Forest destruction has a direct impact on climate change. Deforestation, slash-and-burn and forestry drain large quantities of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO2) into the atmosphere. Overall, forest destruction accounts for around 20 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, which are responsible for global warming.

 

The INA wants to help stop forest destruction, conserve our ecosystems and protect our climate. One way to get there are deforestation-free supply chains.

Deforestation-free supply chains ensure that no forest ecosystems are destroyed for the cultivation of agricultural commodities. Through forest protection laws, international standards, a traceability system and monitoring systems, there are already framework conditions to make the supply chain free of deforestation

Measure against forest destruction: deforestation-free supply chains

Deforestation-free supply chains protect the forests in the producing countries. But they only work when governments, companies, producers and civil society work together.

  • Governments and companies need to work more closely in producer and consumer countries.
  • Governments must support private sector involvement through political and legal frameworks.
  • Nature protection must be integrated into the state land use planning of the producer countries.
  • Sustainability standards must not only keep an eye on the individual company, but in the future must be mandatory for entire regions or production landscapes. Smallholder farms need special support for sustainable intensification of agricultural production.
  • If supply chains are designed to be free of deforestation, they can also contribute to other aspects. So should also human, labor and land rights as well as food security and fair income be considered.

In April 2020 the German Bundestag adopted guidelines for the promotion of deforestation-free supply chains of agricultural commodities.

 

One way to achieve greater protection of natural resources is the landscape approach. Landscapes provide important ecosystem services which form the basis of all life including drinking water, clean air, food, energy sources, building materials and recreational opportunities as well as carbon storage and climate regulation. They must be protected!