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Tropical RainFORESTS - StratEgic projects supported

Greenpeace has been campaigning against environmental degradation since 1971. They investigate, expose and confront environmental abuses by governments and corporations around the world.

In 2008 Greenpeace launched a major globally co-ordinated campaign to halt the massive scale deforestation in Indonesia which is largely driven by a huge demand for palm oil, a monoculture crop produced on deforested land across much of Indonesia.

The work Greenpeace undertook targeting Unilever - the world’s largest user of palm oil, led Unilever to call for a moratorium on further forest clearance, and undertake an audit of their suppliers to check on their environmental standards in Indonesia, due to the concerns that Greenpeace raised in their campaign work last year. In addition, their work led to the development of a coalition of major companies to support this call.

Despite the movement of the industry, led by Unilever in response to Greenpeace's campaign, some suppliers continue to:
a) ignore existing commitments under the Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO)
b) resist the strengthening of those standards and
c) continue to advocate against a moratorium.

Due to the success of their initial campaign, Greenpeace wanted to lever this support to convince the buyers of palm oil to cancel their contracts with specific palm oil producers who are destroying the rainforests, and to use their corporate power to force Indonesia’s largest logging and palm oil company Sinar Mas to change their behaviour on the ground.

Over the three years that TWF is supporting Greenpeace, they aim to achieve a moratorium on forest conversion and industrial logging in the Paradise Forest area of SE Asia. To attain this goal Greenpeace is adopting a multi-level approach: A markets based approach, targeting companies to leverage support for the moratorium; political campaigning; to expose forest corruption, enforce protection and ensure deforestation targets are met; and a community-based approach; to ensure local forest management and conservation solutions are in place.

The success of this project will significantly reduce deforestation on the rainforests and peatlands of Indonesia and PNG. This will be a huge benefit in terms of carbon saving as these peatlands contain over 35 billion tonnes of carbon. Current estimates suggest a business as usual approach will result in 98 per cent of Indonesia's forest being destroyed by 2022.(UNEP)

If Greenpeace can successfully target Sinar Mas this would also have huge environmental consequences as Sinar Mas alone controls more than 780,000 hectares of oil palm and pulpwood plantations in Sumatra, an area which is projected to create CO2 emissions reaching 2.26 billion tons.

The Global Canopy Programme was established in 2001 as an alliance of 38 scientific institutions in 19 countries; world leaders in forest canopy research, education and conservation.

GCP has 6 strands to their work- science, community, policy, business, finance, and communications - which aim to explore and define the range and economic value of forest ecosystem services and to share their findings with decision-makers in government and finance.

According to GCP, the rate of forest loss in Brazil has risen sharply in the last 18 months, after a reduction by almost 60% over the previous three years. They think this has been driven largely by a rise in commodity prices (beef and soy) and a consequent demand for land. They have therefore needed to shift their focus to look at the often inadvertent financing of deforestation and how they might be able to work to turn this around into a positive force.

Whilst international government negotiations on climate have faltered, GCP considers the forest sector to be moving ahead quite well. $4.2 billion has been pledged by Governments to halt deforestation and a formal UNFCCC agreement on a framework for REDD has also been reached; but so far little is actually flowing and both the absorptive capacity of rainforest nations and the market for forest carbon remains weak. GCP are tracking this activity with partners through the REDD Desk while their Community MRV Project aims to provide a model for a Community Monitoring system that could act to strengthen countries’ absorptive capacities.

TWF are supporting GCP over 5 years with core funding, which enables them to adapt to these issues and developments more flexibly and rapidly, making them more responsive and effective as an organisation.





Last updated Tuesday 4 February, 2020