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This summary reflects responses from 29 NYDF endorsers (1 subnational government, 6 countries, 10 NGOs, 9 companies, and 3 indigenous peoples’ organizations) from 18 May- 14 June, 2019. The Secretariat of the NYDF Global Platform has completed consultations with 66 endorsers since April and a total 80 calls are scheduled so far.
- Small NGOs face challenges with project-based funding and they note that there is limited long-term funding for their work.
- One of the biggest challenges is bringing together the corporate commitments space with policy establishment and enforcement spaces.
- NGOs have played a key role in facilitating the collaboration between governments, local organizations, companies, producers, and indigenous peoples.
Indigenous Peoples groups:
- Still, the biggest concern is that indigenous peoples lack rights to their own land and continue to face violence and discrimination for protecting their land.
- Indigenous peoples want to use the NYDF as a platform to work directly with companies to find common solutions, form partnerships and create agreements on how to work together.
- Capacity-building for communities is essential and almost all organizations have cited this as a key enabling factor in the success of their work but it is also noted as a challenge and an area that needs more support.
- One thing that communities need is support to strengthen community governance structures.
- For more information on indigenous people’s perspectives of the NYDF, click here to view a summary of a recent meeting with the NYDF Secretariat and various indigenous peoples’ organizations.
- Governments face the challenge of protecting the environment while also tackling the needs of the population such as economic development, food security, and poverty alleviation, which are further exacerbated by population rise and business interest which increases pressure on forests for productive use.
- Another challenge for governments is the change in administration. This is also recognized as a challenge my other endorser groups.
- When responding about the motivation to endorse the NYDF and commit to the 10 goals, one company stated, “If we don’t have a program which ensures the sustainability of the forest going into the next century then we don’t have a business. [This is about] “simple business survival”. (Anonymous)
- Commitment to the goals at the CEO or board level is essential to get buy-in from the company as a whole.
- Companies rely heavily on and value the support and guidance from NGOs, both local and international, for support in developing sustainability plans globally and at the regional level. The technical and local knowledge from NGOs is very useful to companies and they value these partnerships.
- One company has embedded their forest policy into all aspects of the business so all business units are responsible for upholding it. This has helped to increase internal buy-in and also to increase awareness along the supply chain since all business units must be prepared for third party auditing of the company’s progress on their forest policy.
- Sometimes companies lack updated data on where they could be most effective and how. This poses a challenge to implementation of their forest commitments and ensuring their actions have impact.
- The palm industry has good partnerships and collaboration and there needs to be similar cooperation among the soy industry and other key drivers.
- The complexity of supply chains as well as the complexity in how these agricultural products are embedded in the final products for sale continues to be a challenge for downstream companies (i.e. retailers) to monitor their supply chains.
- Consumer awareness helps push companies to be more sustainable. Companies pay attention to what consumers want.
Key Recommendations for NYDF:
- NYDF endorsers from commodity companies and the producers could create alliances to mobilize financial resources and investments.
- NYDF goals should be more explicitly linked to the SDGs.
- The NYDF should further strengthen the gender and human rights aspect of the declaration.
- Representation from the mining industry is low. NYDF should work with partners to increase endorsement from the mining industry.
- Representation along entire agriculture supply chains should be reflected in the endorsers. The private sector endorsers should expand to different supply chain actors.
- The NYDF needs more endorsers that are producers and businesses from the developing marketplace.
- Endorsers need more consistent definitions and measurements. This will help align all stakeholders and provide clarity on the targets and way forward.
- NYDF should feature good examples of success by endorsers. Endorsers are hungry for this to use as a resource for lessons learned and applying to their own context.
- Documentation and recognition of indigenous peoples’ knowledge is very important and this should be recognized more in the declaration.
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