International symposium engages private sector in developing integrated, deforestation-free supply chains

©FAO/Giulio Napolitano22 January 2018, Tokyo, Japan - As efforts to halt deforestation gather pace, an increasing number of private-sector companies are signaling their intent to join forces with leading global institutions to address deforestation and its key drivers, and to identify viable responses. At an international symposium in Tokyo, forestry experts and commercial stakeholders will join representatives of Japan’s forestry private sector in showcasing initiatives aimed at meeting international objectives, including the Aichi Biodiversity Targets and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

According to FAO’s Global Forest Resources Assessment, between 2010 and 2015 annual net forest loss was 3.3. million ha, with the negative fall-out extending well beyond the loss of trees. People, economies and the environment all bear the brunt of these impacts, which range from higher carbon emissions to increasing biodiversity loss.

Against this backdrop, calls have been made for the private sector to play a bigger role in meeting global zero-deforestation commitments: the Tokyo symposium aims to respond to these calls. For the Japanese hosts, the symposium is a platform for a broad range of public and private sectors, markets and disciplines to articulate their plans and activities for scaling up action on halting and reversing deforestation, as part of broader measures to develop integrated, deforestation-free global supply chains that are both beneficial for small producers while addressing complex cross-sectoral dynamics.

For FAO, forests and food security and nutrition will be at the forefront of its contributions to the symposium’s discussions. “With agriculture remaining the main driver of deforestation, there is an urgent need to promote more positive interactions and synergies between the two sectors. The SDGs are integrated and irreversible, and action must be based on integrated policies. It is no longer possible to address sustainable forestry, agriculture, and food security separately,” said Eva Müller, Director of FAO’s Forestry Policy and Resources Division. 

Corporate commitments and collective pledges to halt deforestation and forest degradation are also high on the agenda, with companies expected to show how and why they are increasingly eager to remove agricultural-commodity-driven deforestation from their supply chains.

“Effective legal and institutional frameworks are key, and this includes secure land tenure and regulation of land-use change … as well as the use of the right policy instruments to improve agricultural productivity and sustainable forest management”, said Eva Müller, stressing the importance of strong forest policy frameworks.

Organized by the Forestry Agency of Japan with support from FAO and the International Tropical Timber Organization, the International Symposium on the Promotion of Deforestation-Free Global Supply Chains for Contributing to Halt Deforestation, is taking place in Tokyo, Japan, from 23–24 January 2018. 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 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, target 15.2 of SDG 15 on Life on Land, which calls for halting deforestation by 2020, and target 1.1 of the UN Strategic Plan for Forests 2017-2030. The plan was adopted by the UN General Assembly in 2017 and calls for reversing the loss of forest cover and increasing forest area by three percent worldwide by 2030.




last updated:  Monday, January 22, 2018