A closer look at jurisdictional approaches
Increasingly, governments, companies, finance institutions, and NGOs are looking to “jurisdictional approaches” as a way to scale efforts to de-link deforestation from commodity production. Broadly speaking, jurisdictional approaches are integrated landscape planning initiatives aligned with sub-national or national political jurisdictions to facilitate government leadership in advancing green economic development. Current models range from jurisdiction-wide “certification” of one or more commodities (e.g., Sabah, Malaysia’s 10-year plan to achieve full jurisdictional RSPO certification) to directing corporate buyers to high performing jurisdictions (e.g., Unilever and Marks & Spencer Produce-Protect commitment), and securing alignment with national climate targets.
Given increasing pressure on governments and corporates to meet their climate and “deforestation-free” commitments, jurisdictional approaches continue to grow in interest and expectations for their potential to address deforestation at scale. But as these approaches move past the early stages of design and testing, stakeholders are increasingly confronted by a number of key implementation questions. Even the most developed jurisdictional models are confronted with similar challenges. Some key implementation questions include:
- What type of engagement from private sector actors is most helpful and catalytic to governments to complement their land sector planning and policy goals?
- What obstacles do commodity traders and buyers face when considering jurisdictional sourcing strategies and how can these be addressed?
- Ultimately, what changes are needed on the ground to meet economic and production objectives while reducing or eliminating deforestation?
At the 2nd General Assembly of the Tropical Forest Alliance 2020, WWF will lead a Knowledge Exchange Session, “Beyond the Buzz: Designing an Effective Jurisdictional Approach to Address Deforestation,” to help answer these questions. WWF aims to inspire deeper thinking and understanding of jurisdictional approaches regarding the enabling conditions and potential contribution of these emerging approaches to deforestation solutions. This session will take a closer look at Colombia’s Orinoquía, a vast forest and savanna landscape facing heightened demand for its agricultural potential, through the lens of producers, buyers, government, and civil society stakeholders.
Representatives of these stakeholder groups will highlight their specific needs, goals, and plans in the anticipated development of the region and analyse where these converge or diverge with those of other stakeholder groups. Participants will also have the opportunity to play a direct role in addressing these challenges, as they will be prompted to engage thoughtfully, creatively, and most of all, collaboratively to tease out particular opportunities and constraints that may converge to build a viable jurisdictional approach.
Together with regional stakeholders and participants, this session explores the challenges and opportunities to unlocking the full potential of jurisdictional approaches, and ultimately, to achieving deforestation-free and sustainable production landscapes.