The production and selling of agricultural commodities such as coffee, cocoa, palm oil, soybean growing in and around forest areas and forest products such as construction wood, charcoal, non-timber forest products (NTFP) contribute to income and employment in rural areas. This is especially the case in Africa. Unsustainable sourcing practices for agricultural value chains, increased need for land and wood endanger not only forests but also the income of local communities. In the long run, unsustainable sourcing practices will lead to a collapse of the agricultural production system due to environmental degradation and climate change.
Therefore, it is essential to include the private sector for setting up deforestation-free supply chains and to establish sustainable landscape management. The jurisdictional approach offers a solution for sustainable production and income for rural communities as well as for private sector companies. The approach defines the landscape within policy-relevant boundaries and the underlying strategy is designed to govern landscapes by a multi-stakeholder approach. It is estimated that global forest landscape restoration targets, also promoted by the African Forest Landscape Restoration Initiative (AFR100), will need investments of $50 billion per year. Financial resources from the public sector will not be sufficient so that one central role of the public sector will be to mobilize private sector investment. Governments need to create the framework conditions for private sector actors to invest in forests and forest landscape restoration. By investing in sustainable productive landscapes, private companies are creating jobs for rural communities and enabling smallholders’ access to new markets. Furthermore, forests and biodiversity are conserved and private companies secure their long-term supply. Sustainable landscapes will only succeed if they are developed together with stakeholders living in and benefiting from the landscape, i.e. if an integrated land use planning is applied and if access to finance is provided for these smallholders (inclusive finance).
The Discussion Forum seeks to bring together local stakeholders and policy makers with experts from the private and finance sector and development organizations to discuss and learn about various approaches for sustainable sourcing for agricultural and forestry products. Experts and examples include cocoa (Cote d’Ivoire) and wild coffee (Ethiopia) value chains. The example from Madagascar will look at framework conditions for private sector investment in FLR. The financial sector is represented through FONERWA – Rwanda’s Environment and Climate Change Fund that supports inclusive finance.