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Do national strategies under the UN biodiversity and climate conventions address agricultural commodity consumption as deforestation driver?
Linköping University, Department of Thematic Studies, Tema Environmental Change. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Linköping University, Centre for Climate Science and Policy Research, CSPR. University of Sustainable Dev, Germany; Thunen Institute Forest Ecosyst, Germany.
Linköping University, Department of Thematic Studies, Tema Environmental Change. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Linköping University, Centre for Climate Science and Policy Research, CSPR. Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden; GMV, Sweden.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-4484-266X
Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden; GMV, Sweden.
University of Sustainable Dev, Germany.
2018 (English)In: Land use policy, ISSN 0264-8377, E-ISSN 1873-5754, Vol. 70, p. 580-590Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Forest conversion in the tropics is increasingly driven by global demand for agricultural forest-risk commodities such as soy, beef, palm oil and timber. In order to be effective, future forest conservation policies should include measures targeting both producers (the supply side) and consumers (the demand side) to address commodity driven deforestation. Whereas the UN Conventions on Biodiversity (CBD) and Climate Change (UNFCCC) do not make reference to this driving factor, here we explore whether and how recent national strategies by member states to the Conventions acknowledge the role of agricultural commodities in tropical deforestation. A text analysis of 139 Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) to climate change mitigation and 132 National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans (NBSAPs) shows that the general trade-off between national development aspirations and forest conservation is commonly acknowledged. However, only few strategies link deforestation to commodity production and consumption, whereas most documents do not mention this topic. This lack of reference to a key driver of tropical deforestation limits the prospects of safeguarding tropical forests for biodiversity and climate change mitigation purposes as part of the two UN Conventions, and might jeopardise their overall effectiveness. These findings were complemented by a content analysis of INDCs, NBSAPs and REDD + documents from eight case countries affected by commodity-driven deforestation. We investigated whether this driver is acknowledged in the national strategies, and which policy measures are suggested to address forest loss from agricultural commodities. We found that six case countries mention agricultural commodities as deforestation driver in their REDD + documents, whereas the biodiversity and climate change strategies were silent on the topic. Policy measures targeting commodity production were suggested in four REDD + strategies, ranging from incentive payments, sustainable agricultural practices and land-use planning to demand-side approaches such as certification and the promotion of sustainable lifestyles. One conclusion from this exercise is that UN member states seem not to consider climate and biodiversity national plans the adequate forum to discuss detailed forest conservation approaches. We argue that in order to increase effectiveness, strategies under the UN Conventions should take commodity-driven deforestation into account, through measures that address both the producer and the consumer side.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
ELSEVIER SCI LTD , 2018. Vol. 70, p. 580-590
Keywords [en]
Market demand; REDD; CBD; UNFCCC; INDC; Text analysis
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-144569DOI: 10.1016/j.landusepol.2017.10.043ISI: 000419416600056OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-144569DiVA, id: diva2:1178276
Note

Funding Agencies|Formas (Swedish Research Council) [2012-1147, 2015-871, 231-2014-1181]

Available from: 2018-01-29 Created: 2018-01-29 Last updated: 2018-01-29

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