Protection of forests and other natural ecosystems

Protection of forests and other natural ecosystems

Eliminate deforestation and the conversion of other natural ecosystems within commodity supply chains.

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Stage of the ethical supply chain journey

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Forests and other natural ecosystems are critical for carbon storage, biodiversity protection, water supply, mitigation of natural hazards, adaptation to climate change, and sustaining the wellbeing of indigenous peoples and local communities. Accordingly, the AFi advocates for a rapid transition to eliminating natural ecosystem conversion for agriculture or forestry commodity production. No-deforestation commitments are a critical step towards this end, but in some contexts their implementation can displace pressure from forests onto other natural ecosystems. Therefore, this Core Principle addresses no-deforestation supply chains (Core Principle 1.1) as a key component of a more comprehensive no-conversion approach (Core Principle 1.2).

To compare your company’s commitments with the Accountability Framework, see the Commitment Self-Assessment Tool.

1.1 No-deforestation supply chains and protection of forests

Companies commit to eliminating deforestation from their supply chains to help end global deforestation. As specified in the definitions, “no-deforestation” (deforestation-free) signifies that a company’s production, sourcing, and financial investments do not cause or contribute to the loss of natural forests.

  1. Commitments prohibit deforestation, which includes the conversion of natural forests to agriculture, tree plantations, livestock production, or other land uses, as well as severe or sustained degradation.
  2. Commitments include taking appropriate measures to support the long-term protection of natural forests and their conservation values in the company’s area of influence and to provide for restoration and/or compensation[1] where the company has caused or contributed to deforestation in violation of their commitments.
  3. To facilitate monitoring and provide clear signals to suppliers, each commitment specifies a cutoff date, after which land units associated with deforestation are deemed non-compliant (see Operational Guidance on Cutoff Dates).

 


[1]Any associated human rights abuses and co-harms must also be remediated.

1.2 No-conversion supply chains and protection of other natural ecosystems

Companies commit to eliminating the conversion of other natural ecosystems from their supply chains. Other natural ecosystems include (among others) natural savannahs, grasslands, peatlands, and wetlands. As specified in the definitions, “no-conversion” (conversion-free) signifies that a company’s production, sourcing, and financial investments do not cause or contribute to the loss of natural ecosystems.

  1.  Commitments prohibit the conversion of non-forested natural ecosystems to agriculture, tree plantations, intensive livestock production, or other land uses, as well as the severe or sustained degradation of such ecosystems (e.g., drainage of peatlands or major alteration of grasslands due to livestock production).
  2.   Commitments include taking appropriate measures to support the long-term protection of natural ecosystems and their conservation values in the company’s area of influence and to provide for restoration and/or compensation[2] measures where the company has caused or contributed to conversion in violation of  their commitments.
  3. To facilitate monitoring and provide clear signals to suppliers, each commitment specifies a cutoff date, after which any land units associated with conversion are deemed non-compliant (see Operational Guidance on Cutoff Dates).

 


[2] As with deforestation, any associated human rights abuses and co-harms must also be remediated.

Apply the Principle

Operational Guidance
Cutoff Dates
Operational Guidance
Applying the Definitions Related to Deforestation, Conversion, and Protection of Ecosystems
Resources
Self-Assessment Tool for the Accountability Framework

Still have questions?

If you have specific questions about how the Framework can be applied in your context, or would just like to speak directly with a member of the AFi, please contact us below.

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