A new initiative to protect rainforests from further destruction whilst ensuring development and trade is sustainable has been kick-started by the UK today as hosts of the COP26 climate summit in November.
The UK today launched the Forest, Agriculture and Commodity Trade (FACT) Dialogue, which will bring together key countries exporting agricultural products and the countries consuming these products to discuss how to make this process greener and more sustainable.
COP26 President-Designate, Alok Sharma, was joined by ministers from more than 18 different countries, including Brazil and South Korea, to kick start this new initiative which will take collaborative action through 2021 to November’s climate conference and beyond.
International trade in commodities like palm oil, soy and beef, provides over $80bn per annum in export earnings for producer countries, and contributes to food security and economic growth in consumer countries. The sector supports 1.5 billion people who depend on it for jobs and livelihoods, many of them in developing countries. Forests continue to disappear at an alarming rate as a result of agricultural production and in some cases deforestation is increasing.
The FACT Dialogue aims to agree principles for collaborative action, a shared roadmap for the transition to sustainable supply chains and international trade, and to take action now to protect forests while promoting development and trade.
This comes as Professor Dasgupta publishes his review today, which calls for urgent and transformative change in how we think, act and measure economic success to protect and enhance our prosperity and the natural world.
COP26 President-Designate, Alok Sharma, said:
Also joining today’s launch was the Dialogue’s non-governmental partner, the Tropical Rainforest Alliance (TFA) who announced the creation of a Global Multi Stakeholder Taskforce on commodity trade. The taskforce will bring together over 25 leading figures working on sustainability who will channel their expertise and advise the governmental dialogues throughout the year.
Fabiola Muñoz, Coordinator of the Peruvian Coalition for Sustainable Production and Co-chair of the Global Multi-stakeholder Taskforce said:
Action to protect the planet’s diversity and establish a sustainable future will require global collaboration across all society, from policy makers and industrialists, through to the individual consumers.
Protection of the environment is woven through the UN 2030 Sustainable Developments Goals which were agreed five years ago and Goal 15, Life on Land, speaks specifically to the sustainable use of ecosystems. The launch of the FACT Dialogue today and the establishment of the Global Multi Stakeholder Task Force represents a major step forward in international collaboration on this pressing issue.
International Environment Minister Lord Goldsmith said:
If you or your business/organisation would like to get involved with dialogue, please enter your details at http://bit.ly/2NR1MpL.
Learn more about the COP26: https://ukcop26.org/