Latin America is a region of great complexity and potential for deforestation-free commodities development. TFA 2020 Partners have chosen to focus initially on Brazil and Colombia in their work plan for 2016 – 2018 due to the relevance of their natural, political and economic capital. Other countries from the region could become engaged at any time, depending on the interest and work of TFA 2020 Partners in the country.

In this sense, the Latin America Initiative supports a collaborative effort underway among regional stakeholders in Brazil, Colombia and other countries who share the goal of eliminating deforestation from key agricultural and forest commodity supply chains (e.g., soy, palm oil, beef, pulp and paper). Many companies producing and/or sourcing these commodities have made commitments to eliminate deforestation from their supply chains by 2020 and are now implementing those commitments. While it is anticipated that these efforts will help to address illegal deforestation, it is also recognized that additional strategies will be necessary to curtail deforestation more broadly.

TFA 2020 strategy in Brazil was formulated through stakeholder consultations and discussion, which took place at a regional strategy meeting in Brazil in June 2015. At that time there was agreement between a number of companies associated with The Consumer Goods Forum (CGF) and civil society representatives to support the development of an approach to guide the implementation of corporate commitments to eliminate deforestation from commodity supply chains in Brazil by building on existing laws, initiatives and incentives.

Since then, the Initiative has coordinated with other Brazilian based initiatives to clarify how companies comply with Brazil’s Forest Code and how best practices can be better shared and implemented across the country.

To help in this effort, TFA 2020, WWF and Proforest published a report outlining the opportunities in supporting legal compliance and zero-deforestation in Brazil, including a mapping of 73 local tools and initiatives to facilitate better partnerships and connections.

The Initiative recognizes that TFA 2020’s value-added role in Brazil will be to build relationships between Brazilian stakeholders and the international community. Thus, rather than duplicate on-the-ground efforts, TFA 2020 will focus on facilitating relationships between Brazilian producers and international companies and catalyzing the efforts of existing national and sub-national actors. TFA 2020 supported the formation of a joint working group between the Initiative and the Brazil Coalition on Climate, Forests, and Agriculture in the near future.

TFA 2020 strategy in Colombia has also increased during 2016. After strategic meetings with Colombian government representatives and TFA 2020 partners in Colombia, in the end of 2016, Colombia was the first Latin American country to become a member of the TFA 2020 and is represented in the TFA 2020 Steering Committee.

To find out more about the initiative or how to get engaged, contact the TFA 2020 secretariat tfa2020@weforum.org.