Agricultural supply chains as a driver for forest and landscape restoration
Agricultural supply chains are responsible for over 70% of tropical deforestation, but can also be important drivers for reforestation and landscape restoration. While landscape initiatives emerge around international supply chains, sector initiatives strive to halt deforestation and reforest landscapes. But how can the sector be incentivized to invest in more sustainable landscapes? What role can certification play to achieve results on landscape level? During the Rainforest Alliance panel discussion you will be taken on a journey through West, East and Southern Africa to get to know the places and people behind landscapes and sectors in order to answer these questions.
The topics during the panel discussion:
In West Africa, more than 80% of the industry together with the governments of Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire have committed to halting deforestation and restore forest areas. We will hear from the Cocoa and Forests Initiative how this multi-stakeholder initiative has been established and is now being put in action. But how do initiatives like that look like on local level? In Jiabeso-Bia, the members of 34 communities, covering 29 thousand hectares, established a landscape management board to oversee the planning, implementation, and monitoring of sustainable practices on their cocoa farms. A representative from this project will tell us about the factors that have enabled this initiative. And how does it link to changes at sector level? The project supports communities and producers in the development and the implementation of local plans for landscape sustainable use, but then engage stakeholders (communities, companies, producers, government, CSOs) in the development and promotion of the policies that enable the landscape management on the ground.
East and Southern Africa:
The tea sector of East and Southern Africa has also been driving deforestation, as both rural households as well as tea processing in factory highly depend on fire wood. At the same time the sector has acknowledged that it can only be sustainable if landscapes are restored and operations are based on sustainable forest management. In Kenya, stakeholders have focused on bringing renewable energy options to scale at both farm and factory level. In the communities, household energy centers are disseminating awareness and low-cost technologies to switch to sustainable briquette; at factory level, central biomass sourcing and briquette production facilities replace about a third of the fire wood by renewable options. In Malawi, smallholder tea growers trusts and blocks, district councils and community stakeholders, local nongovernmental organizations and conservation groups work together to collectively address key areas such as soil conservation, water and forestry. Most important is the learning from the pilot and dissemination of best practices and case studies to advocate with national and private sector to further invest in a landscape strategy for the restoration of the landscapes of Mulanje and Thyolo.
Drawing from these different experiences we will learn what we need to drive deforestation out of these sectors and bring them to invest in reforestation in the future. We will discuss how such sector initiatives support AFR100, and on the other hand, how they could be supported by AFR100.