Public and private commitments to zero deforestation

Public and private commitments to zero deforestation

Commitments from the private sector and governments to zero deforestation (ZD) and to restore forests and peatlands have multiplied in recent years, and have been particularly notable since the New York Declaration on Forests (NYDF), signed in 2014. In addition, ‘No Deforestation, No Peat, No Exploitation’ (NDPE) policies have been embraced by companies in the palm oil sector in Southeast Asia, as well as commitments to sustainable palm oil and cocoa in West Africa.

Sub-national governments within the Governors’ Climate and Forests Task Force (GCF) have committed to low emission rural development, including ZD. In turn, the Bonn Challenge has established very ambitious forest restoration targets, which was followed by the AFR100, and the Initiative 20×20. ZD and restoration initiatives mark major progress towards sustainability in tropical forest countries, yet little is known about the positive social, economic and ecological impacts of these commitments in practice. While both ZD and restoration dynamics interact strongly with each other in production landscapes, they tend to be considered as separate processes.

This priority examines the interactions and implications of these two initiatives, since they tend to focus on overlapping landscapes, and seeks to unravel their underpinning dynamics and linkages.