Back to Resources
Published: 01.23.2015

ETurbonews: World Economic Forum to host Tropical Forest Alliance 2020 secretariat

DAVOS-KLOSTERS, Switzerland – The World Economic Forum will host the secretariat of the Tropical Forest Alliance (TFA) 2020 beginning February 2015. Born out of support from the United States Government for the Consumer Goods Forum commitment to achieve zero-net tropical deforestation by 2020, the TFA is a global public-private partnership to help slow tropical deforestation and address climate change.

Through the secretariat, the World Economic Forum will help the TFA partners to expand and implement company commitments for sustainable sourcing of key agricultural commodities. The current production processes of these commodities are a major driver of the world’s tropical deforestation, particularly beef, paper and pulp, palm oil and soy. The TFA partners, which include governments, producer and consumer goods companies, NGOs, indigenous people’s groups and other stakeholders are collaborating to create sustainable supply chains for these commodities by 2020.

“Progress against the TFA 2020 goals is strong, with company commitments now covering more than 90% of the global palm oil supply chain. But with an estimated 12% of greenhouse gas emissions still coming from deforestation, more needs to be done,” said Dominic Waughray, Head of Public-Private Partnership and member of the Management Committee at the World Economic Forum. “We are delighted to collaborate with company partners from the producer and consumer goods sectors, leading environmental NGOs and the governments of Norway, the United Kingdom, United States and Netherlands to help deliver this public-private alliance and its critical outcomes.”

Tropical deforestation is a driver of risks and issues at the top of the global agenda – from threatening the livelihood of the 1.2 billion people who depend on tropical forests for income, to reducing environmental risks such as forest burning. The secretariat will raise awareness about tropical deforestation and convene meetings that leverage the networks and summits of the World Economic Forum to help coordinate and advance action with governments on tropical deforestation globally and in key regions.

“Slowing and, over time, halting tropical deforestation, while restoring degraded forest landscapes and agricultural lands, is essential for our future,” said Tine Sundtoft, Minister of Climate and Environment, Norway. “The global public-private partnership that is taking shape to strive towards this goal – counting indigenous people’s organizations and broad segments of civil society as well as a global selection of businesses and governments – is one of the most encouraging signs on the global sustainable development agenda. The Tropical Forest Alliance holds the potential to become one of that partnership’s most important engines. The World Economic Forum – with its unmatched reach and strong record of convening disparate groups to help solve important problems – is the natural host of the TFA.”

“The Tropical Forest Alliance and its members are extremely grateful to the World Economic Forum for the support it has provided during 2014 to advance the partnership up to and through the UNSG Climate Summit. With World Economic Forum help, one of the most impressive outcomes of the Summit was undoubtedly the New York Declaration on Forests,” said Paul Polman, Chief Executive Officer of Unilever, and Consumer Goods Forum Board Sponsor of the Sustainability Pillar that champions the TFA. “As the World Economic Forum has clearly demonstrated its unique ability to help mobilize, position and grow large public-private partnerships such as the 2030 Water Resources Group and Grow Africa, we believe it can similarly help to grow and position the TFA to be a globally recognized and impactful partnership.”

The World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2015 aims to deliver a practical and ambitious agenda on climate, growth and development for business leaders and policy-makers in 2015 – a decisive year, with UN climate negotiations in Paris in December and the post-2015 sustainable development goals being finalized in New York in September. The climate programme focuses on scaling up solutions across sectors, value chains, business and government policies and technologies. Reducing tropical deforestation will be a key topic explored during sessions of the Annual Meeting, and regional discussions will begin at the World Economic Forum on East Asia this April.

The Co-Chairs of the Annual Meeting 2015 are: Hari S. Bhartia, Co-Chairman and Founder, Jubilant Bhartia Group, India; Winnie Byanyima, Executive Director, Oxfam International, United Kingdom; Katherine Garrett-Cox, Chief Executive Officer and Chief Investment Officer, Alliance Trust, United Kingdom; Young Global Leader Alumnus; Jim Yong Kim, President, The World Bank, Washington DC; Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman, Google, USA; and Roberto Egydio Setubal, Chief Executive Officer and Vice-Chairman of the Board of Directors, Itaú Unibanco, Brazil.

The World Economic Forum is a partner of the International Coalition of Tourism Partners (ICTP)