On Monday, September 22, the Ford Foundation and the Climate and Land Use Alliance will host a diverse group of indigenous community forest leaders, heads of multinational corporations, and high-level ministers for a rare, candid discussion about how to protect forests in ways that benefit local people, the climate, and the bottom line.

Preventing deforestation is among our greatest, most cost-effective climate solutions, and the topic is expected to be central to discussions among world leaders at the UN Climate Summit, scheduled for the following day. This event will preview those discussions, provide key insights into global action on forests, and elevate the efforts of leaders who are forging new solutions.


Speakers and panelists include

Daniel Azeredo Avelino Chief Federal Prosecutor, State of Pará, Brazil

Joênia Batista de Carvalho Head, Legal Department, Indigenous Council of Roraima, Brazil

HE Hans Brattskar State Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Norway

Rt. Hon. Justine Greening Secretary of State for International Development, United Kingdom

David Kaimowitz Director, Natural Resources and Sustainable Development, Ford Foundation

HE Kuntoro Mangkusbroto Head, Presidential Delivery Unit (UKP4), Indonesia

Abdon Nababan Secretary General, Indigenous Peoples’ Alliance of the Archipelago (AMAN), Indonesia

Paul Polman Chief Executive Officer, Unilever

Jeff Seabright Chief Sustainability Officer, Unilever

Darren Walker President, Ford Foundation

Bryan Walsh Senior Writer, Time magazine


Research and Resources

“Disrupting the Global Commodity Business: How Strange Bedfellows are Transforming a Trillion-Dollar Industry to Protect Forests, Benefit Local Communities, and Slow Global Warming,” Climate and Land Use Alliance, September 2014

This white paper explores the potential for transformation in the trillion-dollar global agricultural commodity business—focusing on how different sectors, including governments and local communities, can work together to achieve reform. The “strange bedfellows” refers to the emerging group of indigenous, NGO, corporate, and government leaders who increasingly share this common goal.

“Consumer Good and Deforestation: An Analysis of the Extent and Nature of Illegality in Forest Conversion for Agriculture and Timber Plantations,” Forest Trends, September 2014

According to this analysis, nearly half of recent tropical deforestation is the result of illegal clearing for commercial agriculture. The study also finds that the majority of this illegal destruction was driven by overseas demand for agricultural commodities, including palm oil, beef, soy, and wood products. In addition to devastating impacts on forest-dependent people and biodiversity, the illegal conversion of tropical forests for commercial agriculture is estimated to produce 1.47 gigatonnes of carbon each year—equivalent to 25 percent of the European Union’s annual fossil fuel–based emissions. 

“Securing Rights, Combating Climate Change,” World Resources Institute and Rights and Resources Initiative, July 2014

More than 11 percent of global emissions are due to deforestation and other land use. This report offers the most comprehensive review to date linking legal recognition and government protection of community forest rights with healthier forests and reduced carbon pollution from deforestation., and this new analysis offers an exciting and largely untapped tool to help reduce global emissions.

“Primary Forest Cover Loss in Indonesia over 2000–2012,” Nature Climate Change, July 2014

Over the 12 years covered by the study, Indonesia surpassed Brazil in deforestation rates—making it the most deforested country during that period. The increasing loss of Indonesian primary forests has significant implications for climate change mitigation and biodiversity conservation efforts.

“Deforestation Success Stories,” Union of Concerned Scientists, June 2014

This report highlights successes in reducing deforestation and restoring forests while supporting economic development in 17 countries across Africa, Latin America, and South and Southeast Asia. While some countries highlighted in the report, like Brazil, are known for their forest efforts, others—including Mexico, El Salvador, and the six countries of Central Africa—emerge as surprising innovators.


For Press

Images and b-roll depicting deforestation, forest degradation; and forest peoples in Brazil and Indonesia fisherman in Indonesia; and extractive industries in Brazil. Please credit Joel Redman/Handcrafted Films. (Dropbox)


Follow the conversation at #forestsclimate

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