The world population is growing at a tremendous rate. According to the forecast from UN., over the next 30 years, is expected to increase by 2 billion people, from 7.7 billion currently to 9.7 billion in 2050. This is an issue that affects most major planning areas. global policy, especially in the context of climate change, and a problem that requires sustainable and innovative solutions. Aside from pressing issues like where all these new people will live, balancing the dual benefits of maintaining the world’s biodiversity while being able to produce enough food to sustain the world’s new population. gender will be a challenging balance.
The role of forests in mitigating climate change is very important; They play an important role in promoting biodiversity, as well as enabling water and soil conservation. At the same time, between 1990 and 2020, the world has lost 420 million hectares of forests – an area larger than the European Union. Thus, combating deforestation is one of the stated goals of the EU Green Deal. In November, the EU announced the adoption of new proposals ending deforestation as part of a series of initiatives to support the broader commitment set out in the Green Agreement to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. More specifically, The proposed regulation aims to limit forest degradation, by ensuring that products purchased and consumed by EU citizens on the local market are not deforested. It cites timber, soybeans, beef, palm oil, cocoa and coffee as the main causes of the problem and will aim to set due diligence rules for any company that wants to sell such products. this product on the EU market.
Millions of people globally rely on forests for food security, livelihoods and energy resources. The successful implementation of any such initiative would therefore have to ensure that in such a globalized supply chain any direct impact on people living in other countries are carefully managed, to ensure that the EU progress does not harm sustainable development elsewhere.
Cooperation is key
Many companies operating globally have been leading their private efforts to combat deforestation. Working closely with third parties such as policy makers and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), as well as sharing knowledge with such parties, can be an effective way to accelerate progress. A good example of such an alliance is Reduce emissions by accelerating forests financial alliance (LEAF), which includes advocates from both the private and public sectors, to provide financial support to countries or countries that are committed to “increasing their ambition to protect forests tropical and subtropical and reduce deforestation”. The alliance, which recently announced at COP26 that it has successfully raised $1 billion in funding, has so far screened applications from some of the world’s highest deforestation challenges, such as like the Amazon of Brazil and countries in West Africa, like Nigeria and Ghana. Through this initiative, LEAF is able to provide unprecedented financial assistance to local governments to manage any unexpected financial shocks to individuals that may result from the adopt new regulations and targets to limit deforestation.
It is for this reason that Bayer – as a global leader in health and nutrition – is working with the entire value chain to ensure they take a holistic approach to avoiding deforestation. and provide specific solutions to protect biodiversity and forests. A good example of their efforts in this area is their initiative to work closely with farmers to increase the sustainability of their agricultural systems, including by reducing pressure on land use. Understanding that converted land is 10 times more economically valuable than forest land, the company has committed to helping farmers increase revenue on their existing farmland to try to reduce the temptation to expand. To do this, the company is investing €2 billion a year in innovative and sustainable development, while providing farmers with high-yielding seeds, safe pesticides and technical solutions. digital technology for precision farming, along with training in good farming methods that promote regenerative agriculture. It has also introduced an incentive program to prevent farmers from converting land even if they have a legal permit to help limit any financial impact such a decision might have.
In Brazil, a region with one of the world’s greatest deforestation challenges, the Bayer Responsible Soy Project is a prime example of how private enterprise can help impact farmers. people in implementing new laws in the supply chain. Introduced under new soybean sourcing guidelines by the Federation of European Feed Producers (FEFAC) in 2015, the initiative – in partnership with Cefetra – has assisted local farmers to meet meet accountability standards in a number of areas, including environmental management, land management, legal compliance and employment practices. This initiative can provide 360-degree support to a large network of farmers and help many of them achieve Responsible Soybean (CRS) certification.
Five years later, the first group of farmers was certified, producing about 1.6 million tonnes of sustainably produced soybeans. That is the level of success that would take longer to achieve, if Cefetra or Bayer set out to achieve it alone; Cooperation is key.
Managing human impact
The implementation of any new regulation must be carefully monitored to ensure that any negative or undesirable effects can be managed effectively. In the case of the EU’s deforestation initiative, this means paying attention to any shifts in supply and demand that can sometimes be caused by price shocks due to regulatory changes.
Therefore, ensuring that the trading system remains inclusive should be a priority for this legislation, especially in high-risk rural areas, where any impact on the supply chain will ultimately be could put farmers at risk of falling into poverty. An important consideration that should be taken into account to avoid such a situation is to ensure that any risk classification does not exclude certain farmers, or even countries, dealing with certain regions. Any such move could hamper companies’ ability to source goods from high-risk countries in line with their own internal due diligence regulations, which ultimately could could cut off the farmers who relied on this trade the most for their survival.
It should also be noted that under the current draft regulations, farmers will be required to separate products depending on where they are being exported, which could lead to higher costs. The mass-balanced approach is therefore a more appropriate concept, where documentation and proof of non-deforestation production is passed through the supply chain. It ensures that the volume of non-deforested products that operators claim to import does not exceed the volume produced by licensed farmers in any given time period.
Companies like Bayer, working practically with farmers around the world, including in vulnerable areas, are therefore uniquely positioned to help the EU deliver on its ambitious deforestation targets. , while balancing complex needs at every stage of the supply chain. Thus, cooperation can not only ensure a higher level of success when implementing new regulations, but also accelerate any gains. It has implications for the environment, for the global trading system, and most importantly, for all the people who depend on both for their survival – and that’s all of us.
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