Reducing the Pressure on Tropical Forests:
NYDF 2016 Progress Assessment – Following up on Supply Chain Commitments

Updates on all 10 Goals of the New York Declaration on Forests
A Focus Report on Goal 2: Supply-chain Efforts

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Eliminating Deforestation from the Production of Agricultural Commodities

For the first time, this report aggregates, cross-references, and interprets data from a variety of sources to provide a coherent picture of efforts for deforestation-free supply chains of agricultural commodities.


Agriculture is a major driver of forest loss

The BIG FOUR commodities—palm oil, soy, cattle and wood products—are estimated to account for 40% of global deforestation. Other commodities—such as rubber, sugar, cocoa, and coffee—also pose an increasing risk for forests.



Companies are making more pledges, but need to take further steps

The number of corporate commitments to reduce the deforestation of agricultural commodity supply chains continues to increase. In total, more than 400 companies have made more than 700 pledges to reduce their impacts on forests and the rights of forest communities. However, the majority of companies assessed in the study have yet to take essential steps toward implementation of their pledges.

Impact remains difficult to measure

There are currently no available data that provide global coverage to determine whether cumulative company efforts are translating into measurable reductions in deforestation, though two tools are being refined and developed (Global Forest Watch-Commodities and Trase) that may help provide answers within the next couple of years.

Progress requires collective action

Limited improvements have been made to forest governance and public-sector support in recent years, though specific success stories may provide a model for future collaboration and partnerships. A growing number of public-private initiatives support the elimination of deforestation at the supply chain or landscape level.

The case for sustainable cattle

The comparatively few commitments for sustainable cattle—the single largest driver of deforestation—is a matter of concern, although the lack of commitments does not necessarily equal a lack of action. Reasons for limited commitments around cattle include the lack of an accepted industry standard for certification, a highly mobile commodity, a higher percentage of local consumption, and a limited share of beef that is exported to Europe or North America.

Updates on Goals 1-10

In addition to a focus report, the NYDF Assessment Coalition provides annual updates on progress toward meeting the ten NYDF goals. The 2016 findings show that despite positive developments, much action still needs to be taken to ensure lasting impact and successful protection of tropical forest goals. The Assessment Coalition will continue to track progress on all ten goals until 2020.