Among the major challenges facing developing nation societies today are the destruction of tropical forests and other native ecosystems and resulting emissions of CO2 and other greenhouse gases to the atmosphere, the erosion and loss of soils, the degradation and depletion of freshwater delivery systems, and the disruption and displacement of indigenous, traditional and smallholder communities that occur as agricultural and livestock production systems expand “horizontally” through forest conversion and resulting land conflicts.
Currently, sustainable supply chain initiatives, domestic policies and finance, and REDD+-related programs to increase food production while sparing forests and lowering carbon emissions in the tropics are advancing largely in isolation separated by different scales of intervention, performance metrics and levers for shaping land user behavior. As a result of this disconnect, farmers are receiving few, if any, positive incentives to forgo legal forest clearing and to invest in more sustainable production systems.
The Forests, Farms and Finance Initiative seeks to address these problems by linking incentives for more environmentally and socially responsible agricultural commodities production with initiatives to reduce deforestation and other environmental degradation.
Each regionally tailored strategy seeks consensus on specific targets for reducing deforestation, increasing agricultural productivity and improving smallholder livelihoods in each target jurisdiction, or territory as it designs incentive systems and monitoring platforms for achieving these targets. These strategies are driven by a diverse consortium that includes non-governmental organizations, major commodity roundtables (the Round Table for Responsible Soy, the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil, Bonsucro, and the Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef), private companies and sub-national governments. Each partner in the consortium brings a unique set of skills and network to contribute to engaging farm sectors, finance institutions, traders, commodity buyers, governments, and civil society in a consensus-building process using a “bottom-up” approach.
Theory of Change
The 3FI Theory of Change is implemented within target jurisdictions through the Territorial Performance System (TPS). The approach was designed to overcome important and persistent barriers to slowing tropical deforestation and forest degradation. The four pillars of the TPS are (a) broadly shared targets and milestones for addressing deforestation and other issues determined through a multi-stakeholder planning process, (b) integrated incentive systems to drive progress towards those milestones, (c) monitoring platforms to track progress and facilitate risk assessment, and (d) a governance structure that coordinates implementation of the strategy. Sustained market pressure for sustainable commodity production reinforces jurisdiction-wide compliance with targets and milestones. These components of the TPS respond to the main barriers to success, as summarized in the figure below.
Earth Innovation Institute (EII): Earth Innovation Institute is an international non-profit organization focused on fostering a global transition to low emissions rural development. EII convenes meetings of the 3FI and leads the implementation of strategies within most target jurisdictions, including cross-cutting themes of smallholder production systems, contract farming, REDD+ policy, and jurisdictional commodity sourcing strategies, and works closely with Forest Trends on the design of financial instruments.
Forest Trends (FT): Forest Trends is an international non-profit organization focused on creating and capturing market values for ecosystem services. FT is actively engaged in the development of public private financing options and approaches to leverage public REDD+ funding. Within 3FI, FT plays a key role in contributing to the integrated incentive systems component of the TPS in Brazil and Colombia through business/financial case analysis. FT is leading development of investment strategies for forest conservation, restoration and regeneration in Brazil and financial instruments to attract private sector investment.
IPAM: IPAM is a Brazilian civil society organization with a 20-year history leading participatory social change processes in the Brazilian Amazon. IPAM has worked extensively on the topic of REDD+, influencing national and state REDD+ policy implementation and working with rural producers and Amazon forest peoples (smallholders, indigenous peoples) in discussion of safeguards and benefit sharing. IPAM helps design and build support for the TPS in MatoGrosso.
Solidaridad: Solidaridad is a worldwide networked non-governmental organization that promotes smart and sustainable land use to enable responsible agricultural entrepreneurship that can feed the future world population while keeping forests standing. Solidaridad currently leads the strategies in Paraguay and Ghana with support from the Consortium.
Yayasan Penelitian Inovasi Bumi (INOBU): INOBU is a non-profit, applied research and policy institute based in Jakarta, Indonesia that focuses on finding solutions for environmental degradation and rural poverty through direct technical, strategic and convening support to governments, companies, traditional peoples’ organizations and farmers. The institute grew out of EII’s Indonesia Program and is the implementing partner for 3FI in Indonesia, leading strategies in Central Kalimantan and West Papua.
Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (GRSB): The GRSB is a global non-governmental organization that uses a multi-stakeholder approach to jointly develop global solutions to advance sustainable beef production. Within 3FI, GRSB supports pilot activities involving the beef sector in Brazil and Colombia.
Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO): Formed in 2004, RSPO is a global, multi-stakeholder initiative on sustainable palm oil. RSPO-certified palm oil now accounts for 18 percent of global palm oil production, and is working with 3FI to implement pilot jurisdictional certification in Central Kalimantan, Indonesia.
Roundtable for Responsible Soy (RTRS): RTRS is an international multi-stakeholder initiative with membership that represents 30% of world soy production and promotes the use and growth of responsible production of soy through a global standard for responsible production. RTRS plays an important role in engaging actors in the soy supply chain in jurisdictional approaches to sustainability in Paraguay and Brazil.
Bonsucro: Since 2007, Bonsucro has been promoting a standard for producers, companies, consumers and financial sector actors to produce, procure, and finance sustainable sugar. Bonsucro is supporting corporate engagement in jurisdictional transitions to LED-R, and the design of jurisdictional pilot activities in Brazil.
Proforest: Proforest is an international non-profit organization that has worked at the forest- agriculture interface for over a decade, supporting the private sector to develop policies that reduce pressure on forests and make linkages to REDD+. Its role in 3FI is currently to support the development of the Jurisdictional Sustainability working group through convening and meetings, and provide input to reports and summaries of outputs.
Unilever: Unilever is a global consumer good company that has made a commitment to source 100% of agricultural raw materials sustainably and eliminate deforestation from their supply chain. Unilever has actively participated in 3FI since its inception, representing the private sector in multi- stakeholder dialogues and providing advice on the development of the Territorial Performance System as a strategy to take sustainability to scale.
World Wildlife Fund-US: WWF-US draws on the lessons from the large network of WWF national organizations and local partner NGOs in more than 100 countries to provide strategic advice on the development of the jurisdictional approach, and make connections to its global supply chains initiatives.
Governors’ Climate and Forests Task Force (GCF): The GCF is a unique alliance of 26 states and provinces from seven countries focused on developing comprehensive jurisdiction-wide programs to reduce emissions from deforestation and support low-emissions rural development. The GCF Secretariat & Fund actively participate in 3FI program activities, and benefit from the knowledge products of the consortium. Encompassing more that 25% of the world’s tropical forests, the GCF is an important platform to take the strategies being led by 3FI to scale, and has began to work collaboratively with EII to build the GCF Performance System.
Grupo Amaggi and Denofa: As a prominent Brazilian soy company with a strong commitment to sustainability, GrupoAmaggi has actively participated in the 3FI consortium and multi-stakeholder dialogues in MatoGrosso and Brazil since their inception. As a subsidiary to GrupoAmaggi, Denofa is the only soy crushing plant in Norway and supplies most of the nation’s soy meal. Denofa has integrated sustainability into their competitive business model and signed the New York Declaration on Forests. With technical support from 3FI and through engagement with the TPS process in Brazil, Denofa is preparing to adopt a “jurisdictional sourcing” approach to their sustainability commitments in the Amazon region.