Preserving and restoring forests is critical to averting the most dangerous climate change and achieving global goals. According to the latest IPCC report, about 10% of global greenhouse gas emissions are tied to deforestation; with up to 20% of all the abatement potential identified in the land-use sector. Forests are also extremely important to food security, water security and livelihoods, so that conserving and restoring forests feature prominently in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) approved in 2015 by the United Nations.
Deforestation-free supply chains are critical to low emission development. With the world’s population predicted to reach 9 billion by 2050, it is estimated that 70% more food calories will be needed, while demand for wood products will also continue to increase. Over the past decades, meeting the rising demand for food and consumer goods has often come at the expense of forests, making commercial agriculture the main driver of tropical deforestation.
Over the last few years this issue has generated an unprecedented level of commitment from nations, companies, indigenous people and other organizations to stop commodity-driven deforestation, while at the same time achieving ambitious reforestation and forest restoration targets. The Tropical Forest Alliance 2020 was developed to help achieve these commitments through dedicated public-private collaborations.
The Tropical Forest Alliance 2020 (TFA 2020) is a global public-private partnership in which partners take voluntary actions, individually and in combination, to reduce the tropical deforestation associated with the sourcing of commodities such as palm oil, soy, beef, and paper and pulp. Doing so significantly reduces global greenhouse gas emissions, improves the livelihoods of millions of smallholder farmers, conserves natural habitats, and protects tropical landscapes for future generations. It is a key aspect of delivering sustainable and inclusive rural economic development in tropical forest countries.
TFA 2020 is in a unique position to foster cross-sector collaboration based on a common and ever-deepening understanding of the barriers and opportunities linked to deforestation-free supply chains. Its greatest offering is a partnership of champions for deforestation-free global and local economies, making the case for sustainable supply chains as an essential pathway towards a better economy and achievement of the SDGs.
TFA 2020 and its partner countries, companies and civil society organizations work together to:
- Improve planning and management related to tropical forest conservation, agricultural land use and land tenure
- Share best practices for tropical forest and ecosystem conservation and commodity production, including working with smallholder farmers and other producers on sustainable agricultural intensification, promoting the use of degraded lands and reforestation
- Provide expertise and knowledge to assist with the development of commodity and processed-commodity markets that promote the conservation of tropical forests
- Improve monitoring of tropical deforestation and forest degradation to measure progress
The Tropical Forest Alliance 2020 was founded in 2012 at Rio+20 after the Consumer Goods Forum (CGF) committed to zero net deforestation by 2020 for palm oil, soy, beef, and pulp and paper supply chains in 2010. The CGF partnered with the US government to create the public-private alliance with the mission of mobilizing all actors to collaborate in reducing commodity-driven tropical deforestation.
In support of the commitments of TFA 2020 partners to reduce deforestation in tropical forest countries, TFA 2020 has throughout the years grown its partner members and continues to bring on board those key actors committed to tackling deforestation. Since June 2015, the Tropical Forest Alliance Secretariat is hosted at the World Economic Forum offices in Geneva, with financial support of the governments of the Norway and United Kingdom.