Endorser Perspectives Report released: findings from endorser consultations

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    Madeline CraigMadeline Craig

    Dear NYDF Community,

    I am pleased to share with you the results of the 2019 global endorser consultations.

    NYDF Global Platform interviewed more than 80 NYDF endorsers across governments, companies, indigenous peoples and NGOs to distinguish endorser perspectives on progress as well as challenges to achieve the NYDF goals. The insights from these consultations are presented in the first-ever NYDF Endorser Perspectives Report, capturing examples of endorser progress to implement their forest commitments, the enabling conditions that have underpinned endorser action, and the leading barriers to progress. The report was launched at the NYDF 5-Year Anniversary Event during the Nature’s Climate Hub at Climate Week in NYC in September 2019. Eight lessons emerged and a vision for 2020 and beyond, recognizing that measurable, collective action is necessary now to make considerable progress to address deforestation and protect and restore forests.

    You can see the 8 lessons below and you can view more insights and examples of endorser actions in the full report here: https://nydfglobalplatform.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/NYDF-Endorser-Perspectives-Report-Final.pdf  

    Lesson 1: Implementation of deforestation-free commitments by companies and governments is slow due to barriers that require multi-level and multi-sectoral solutions

    • We have many commitments but measurable action to deliver on these commitments and the pathway to implement them has proven to be more elusive.
    • Overcoming such barriers requires support for activities such as:
      • the development of measurable and time-bound targets;
      • multi-stakeholder collaborations;
      • renewed political will at a high level;
      • shifting gray to green finance and increasing financial incentives to scale-up implementation;
      • consistent monitoring and accountability strategies, preferably through an independent third-party vendor; and
      • policies that support demand for deforestation-free products..

    Lesson 2: Strong governance and policy are essential enabling conditions for endorser action; but also a barrier to implementation when absent

    • Strong, consistent policy and governance conditions can either make or break action to address deforestation and protect, restore and sustainably manage forests.
    • Further work is needed to ensure that forests and communities are protected despite political changes.

    Lesson 3: Individual leadership and forest champions can shape action across an organization and an industry

    • High-level individual political leadership is critical for the adoption and implementation of commitments across institutions.
    • Countries and jurisdictions with stronger institutional frameworks and meritocratic systems in place can avoid negative influences of government turnover.
    • Indigenous peoples have strengthened global alliances across the globe to influence the international agenda.

    Lesson 4: Implementation of forest commitments often hinges on multi-stakeholder engagement and partnerships

    • 90% of NYDF endorsers expressed an interest in establishing or strengthening links with other endorsers and stakeholder groups.
    • Endorser priorities for multi-stakeholder collaboration includes:
      • Developing links with financial or implementing partners;
      • Connecting with other endorsers in the same geographic area or commodity;
      • Sharing lessons and challenges through learning exchanges and other specific linkages.

    Lesson 5: Accountability and transparency technology has accelerated in recent years but access to open and transparent data remains a challenge

    • There is a lack of transparency and limited traceability along agricultural commodity supply chains
    • Multiple company NYDF endorsers cited a challenge of transparency, often due to either limited or incomplete information or concerns about competitiveness and reputation.
    • There is a need for joint industry action and monitoring across industries, especially beef, palm oil, soy, paper, coffee, cocoa, and rubber.

    Lesson 6: Land tenure is a precondition to eliminate conflict and sustainably conserve and manage forests

    • Indigenous and local communities are stewards to a quarter of the world’s natural carbon stock and collectively hold more than 50% of the world’s land, but much of this land is not formally recognized and titled.
    • Solutions to address the contested status of land tenure include:
      • Generating agreements on the process for clarifying and consolidating land rights.
      • Securing financial support to implement such processes.

    Lesson 7: Although negative financial investments work against forests, and positive financial investments are insufficient to achieve forest goals, new models for forest finance hold promise

    • Our current economy doesn’t account for the true value and benefits of forests.
    • Forests and improved land management receive only 2% of public mitigation finance.
    • We need a new economy and a paradigm perspective shift in the narrative regarding the contribution of government turnover.
    • Even modest changes to the current paradigm could have major positive outcomes for forests.

    Lesson 8: Nature based solutions yield societal benefits but those values are not fully recognized

    • The value of forests is often not recognized by the governments and corporations that drive systemic forest loss and degradation.
    • Leads to a distorted valuation of forests and a missed opportunity to capitalize on forests to support achievement of the SDGs.
    • Awareness of NYDF endorsers on the contribution of their work to SDGs is limited.
    • Forests provide critical benefits including to jobs and livelihoods, improved food and water security, biodiversity conservation and climate mitigation and adaptation.
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