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This summary reflects responses from 16 NYDF endorsers (1 subnational government, 2 countries, 9 NGOs, and 6 companies) from 6-17 May, 2019. We have completed consultations with 28 endorsers and a total 68 calls are scheduled so far.
- “Agriculture is one of the main drivers [of deforestation] and too often we come at it by telling the agriculture sector why they need to be more environmentally conscious. I think that’s the wrong approach, it hasn’t worked. We need to demonstrate to the agricultural sector by working within the agricultural sector, understanding their needs, understanding their language… and really evidencing why the goals in the NYDF are also relevant to their sector.” – NGO representative
- Effective behavior change is needed to slow the rate of deforestation from the agriculture sector. Economic incentives and policy frameworks are not enough and investing more in effective human behavior is essential.
- Environmental sustainability needs to be inherent and embedded into business plans rather than as an add-on.
- Regarding finance and forest-based enterprises, it is necessary to strengthen the forest entrepreneurship ecosystem, so that there are incubators, accelerators and investment funds that accompany the development of forestry enterprises with a regenerative focus.
- Forest degradation is an important issue which does not get enough attention. It is important to recognize the threat not just of deforestation, but also forest degradation and the threat to intact ecosystems.
- Consumer countries or donor governments can play a key role in ensuring that the companies which operate there have zero deforestation commitments. For example, Norway was instrumental in getting a number of Norwegian companies to endorser the NYDF in 2014. This political support was a key factor for these companies to commit to the NYDF and strengthen their corporate deforestation policy.
- In the climate space, forests are seen as a separate issue. Only 3% of climate funding going to forests but forests hold 30% of the climate solutions. Forests and climate need to be more integrated in communications and policies. If this connection is more apparent then more funding will shift into this space.
- There is strong interest from companies to connect with their peers in the same industry and region to share experiences and discuss how they implement their policies.
- Strong policies and enforcement from government is a key enabling condition for companies to meet their deforestation commitments.
- Illegal logging is one of the biggest challenges for companies right now.
- To tackle the issue of funding and finance for reducing deforestation in the supply chain, some companies have their own sustainability funds and this has allowed the company to finance initiatives with local producers, reforestation projects, etc. In one case, a company puts a portion of all the proceeds from the products they sell towards their sustainability fund.
- In many companies, there is a disconnect between the corporate sustainability teams and the regional operating teams. In many cases, the operating teams, which are not located in the country where the company is based, are not aware of the global commitments that their company supports.
- There is a big gap in understanding company progress and how they track and measure their progress and how progress is defined. On a global scale, this dilutes the message if companies are reporting different types of scores.
Suggestions and Recommendations for NYDF:
- There is no mention of biodiversity in the NYDF goals. The link to forests and biodiversity should be made more clear.
- All endorser groups have echoed the need for more connections among endorsers and that the NYDF platform can be used to support matchmaking.
- There is a need to fill gaps in NYDF endorsers, i.e. from infrastructure, mining and extractives, etc. and target the sectors that are driving deforestation.
- The NYDF Platform can provide communications materials and briefs for endorsers on how the NYDF is connected to and can help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGS), climate targets, and biodiversity targets.
- The secretary-General’s Climate Summit in September 2019 is a good opportunity to get endorser groups together and to use that as a space for more in-person engagement among endorsers.
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