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Better Growth with Forests

Three ways to scale up sustainable rural development at the forest frontier

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. The negative consequences of large-scale tropical deforestation are well understood. Arguably, if we are to achieve the 2°C target and realize the Global Goals the model of the past is not a viable option..  But is it possible to deliver rural development and domestic economic growth while at the same time protecting and restoring forests at scale?

Yesterday I participated in the Lima Paris Action Agenda Focus Day on Forests here in Paris at COP21. Hearing from Heads of State, Ministers, CEOs and leaders of Indigenous Peoples organizations on their increased commitments to protect forests, implement deforestation-free supply chains and strengthen public-private collaboration to that end was inspiring and heartening. It also showed how important yet difficult the above stated question is.

The World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council (GAC) on Forests argues that there is a positive answer to the question. The GAC on Forests – a group of 22 global leaders from business, civil society, government, and academia – suggests focusing on deforestation-free supply chains and place-based partnerships to link increased production with better protection. In essence, such “protection-production partnerships” allow for alignment of commitments from buyers of sustainably produced commodities with domestic public-policy measures for forest protection and land-use planning, and with international support and blended finance solutions to de-risk investment.

While there are clear challenges to scale up these partnerships, the GAC laid out three potential models to accelerate the creation of these protection production partnerships, which can be further explored and developed through a participative process.


You can download the paper here: Better Growth with Forests:Discussion Paper

Better Growth on Forests: Discussion Paper

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