Over the past two days, companies, civil society organizations, private sector representatives, and governments have come together in São Paulo, Brazil to assess and collectively mobilize to reduce commodity-driven deforestation in South America. Hosted by the Tropical Forest Alliance (TFA) 2020, of which the GCF Task Force is a member, the 2018 Latin American Implementation Dialogue has highlighted pioneering jurisdictional programs in GCF Task Force Brazilian member states Pará and Mato Grosso. The two states have achieved substantial success in reducing deforestation over the past fifteen years—in 2017 the states reduced deforestation by 73% and 89% respectively, compared to 2004 levels – while growing their economies and increasing agricultural output. The states now face challenges in ensuring they can sustain this progress. Preliminary analysis by Imazon shows that deforestation in both states is continuing to drop in 2018.
At the TFA event, state governments and businesses have sought to identify joint actions that can build on synergies between ambitious state plans to reduce deforestation–such as Mato Grosso’s goal of reducing deforestation by 90% by 2030 while nearly doubling agricultural productivity–and corporate supply chain commitments to eliminate deforestation from commodity production. The TFA event took place alongside the World Economic Forum on Latin America, where regional leaders have gathered through the end of the week to discuss issues related to productivity, governance, and economic growth.
TFA’s Implementation Dialogue reflects broad momentum that has developed in GCF Task Force states and provinces over the past year, advancing collaborative approaches to reduce deforestation caused by agricultural production. Following a meeting at COP 23 in Bonn attended by leading states and provinces, companies, donor governments, and civil society, the GCF Task Force established a Global Steering Committee on Agricultural Production and Tropical Deforestation. The Global Steering Committee, which will hold its first meeting in April, will help link regional approaches with global processes and develop a global framework that fosters, advances, and accelerates public-private implementation partnerships. The potential for the GCF Task Force to act as a platform for addressing commodity driven deforestation at scale is significant, due to the volume of forest-risk commodities they produce; if it were a country, the GCF Task Force would rank third globally in palm oil production and fourth globally in beef and soy production.
In addition to the work of the Global Steering Committee on Agricultural Production and Tropical Deforestation, in 2018 GCF Task Force members will receive support to advance investment plans and jurisdictional strategies to reduce deforestation through a recently announced partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) funded by the Government of Norway. This support will help leading states such as Mato Grosso and Pará sustain the progress achieved, while providing opportunities for emerging agricultural economies to increase production in a manner that avoids the forest frontier. Funding is expected to be awarded by June 2018, with updates available throughout the year on the GCF Task Force website.