Increasing numbers of governments, foundations, NGOs, and companies are looking to jurisdictional scale approaches as ways to help deliver sustainable and deforestation-free agricultural commodities.
Jurisdictional approaches to zero-deforestation commodities (JA-ZDCs) lie at the intersection of three existing strategies to reduce forest loss and degradation, along with improving the health and sustainability of rural and frontier economies: landscape approaches, jurisdictional approaches, and voluntary corporate sustainability efforts. These three strategies are increasingly converging.
This WWF discussion paper maps the current landscape of why, where, who, and how actors are approaching this convergence, based on more than twenty-five interviews with thought leaders in this space. We find that:
There are at least a few dozen examples of JA-ZDCs; however, most are relatively nascent in their development
These approaches take many different angles – including ’bottom-up‘ multi-stakeholder initiatives, global demand-side signals for commodities produced in reduced-deforestation jurisdictions, and place-based supply-side signals, e.g., in the form of jurisdictional certifications
Though there is a mix of enthusiasm and caution about the potential of JA-ZDCs, most interviewees view them as a challenging but promising development to help drive governments and commodity businesses (especially producers) to the table to establish shared goals and pathways to achieving them
Key priorities looking forward will include continued experimentation, innovation, and knowledge sharing from early initiatives; increased opportunities for forest country governments to articulate specifically what they need from private sector actors to achieve sustainable development goals and climate targets; and increased technical work to identify how to scale and/or overlay farm- and plantation-level standards and progress in traceability with jurisdictional approaches that engage governments and incentivize land policy reform and/or implementation more broadly.