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Introducing the Deforestation Risk Toolset 

27 October 2021

By Leah Samberg

To eradicate deforestation and ecosystem conversion from supply chains, companies and financial institutions need a clear blueprint and effective tools for action. 

Introducing the Deforestation Risk Toolset 

By Leah Samberg, AFi 

To eradicate deforestation and ecosystem conversion from supply chains, companies and financial institutions need a clear blueprint and effective tools for action. 

The Accountability Framework provides the blueprint – its principles lay out the essential steps and criteria for setting, implementing, and reporting on deforestation- and conversion-free supply chain goals.  

For companies managing complex commodity supply chains, implementing the Framework requires the right tools and accurate data to map and monitor the origins of agricultural and forest products, assess and manage risks, and track and report change.

A range of tools and platforms are now available to monitor and report on deforestation, ecosystem conversion, and other land use changes. These tools offer different capabilities and scopes. The most suitable tools for any given company or supply chain will depend on factors such as the commodity, sourcing origins, position in the supply chain, and the company’s capacity. Monitoring tools are also evolving rapidly, supported by technological advancements.  

The Deforestation Risk Toolset 

The Deforestation Risk Toolset highlights two publicly available resources – Global Forest Watch Pro (GFW Pro) and Trase – that enable any organization to take action to better understand and manage their commodity supply chains.

The Toolset can help buyers understand which of their suppliers are sourcing from high–risk areas or actively involved in deforestation. This enables companies to make informed purchasing decisions and engage with producers to reduce negative impacts in their supply chains.  

Companies want to be recognized for the progress they make. Information gathered from Trase and GFW Pro can provide a trusted source of evidence for public reporting, B2B data sharing systems, and investor risk assessments. 

On 21 October 2021, the Deforestation Risk Toolset participants – Trase, GFW Pro, and the Accountability Framework initiative (AFi) – presented a practical introductory webinar on how to use the Toolset to make measurable progress towards achieving deforestation and conversion-free supply chains and how to report that progress to stakeholders. Mars also joined us to share industry perspectives in a panel discussion, moderated by Innovation Forum.


Watch the Deforestation Risk Toolset webinar


The Toolset in more detail


For companies that are unable to trace or control their entire supply chain (either through direct traceability to origin or through other control systems such as certification), Trase can provide valuable data on deforestation or conversion exposure. Companies can use Trase to map supply chainsassess risk, and manage suppliers at the scale of key sourcing areas, in alignment with the Accountability Framework. 

Trase maps over half the global trade in forest-risk commodities, with a focus on South American beef and soy and Indonesian palm oil. Coverage continues to expand to new commodities and geographies where sustainability action is urgently needed.  

Launched in 2016, Trase is a product of Global Canopy and the Stockholm Environment Institute. Trase combines trade data with land-use change data, including data from GFW, PRODES, (a satellite monitoring programme run by the Brazilian government) and other sources, to assess the deforestation and conversion footprint or risk exposure of commodity traders and financial institutions.  

Trase provides information on the exposure of commodity traders to deforestation and conversion activity at the sub-national scale, down to individual districts and municipalities, and connects specific production regions to global markets and trading companies.  

Global Forest Watch Pro 

In many contexts around the world, GFW Pro can be used to effectively assess riskmanage suppliers, and monitor deforestation at the production level, in alignment with the Accountability Framework. 

Global Forest Watch, hosted by the World Resources Institute, provides global tree cover and forest change data at a 30-metre resolution, in combination with data on protected areas and peatlands, and near real-time alerts for fire and deforestation events.  

Drawing upon the GFW data infrastructure, GFW Pro allows companies to securely upload the location of farms, processing facilities, or jurisdictions in their supply chains or investment portfolios and analyze these locations in relation to forest change and land use data. Through GFW Pro, companies can assess deforestation risk, monitor historic and ongoing trends in deforestation, and receive deforestation and fire alerts. GFW Pro also allows users to carry out regionally specific analyses using a variety of indicators and drawing on the platform’s satellite imagery, along with forest change data, and contextual data layers.

In some contexts, such as non-forested ecosystems, smallholder production systems or agroforestry, companies may need to supplement GFW with more specialized monitoring tools.

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