Scaling Regional Forest Conservation Through Place-Based Approaches

Published on July 14, 2020 and last updated on July 14, 2020

Plants and trees in a forest

Walmart and many of its suppliers are taking action to address deforestation embedded within their supply chains. To advance next-generation leadership on forest conservation, Walmart encourages suppliers that source beef, soy, palm oil, pulp & paper, coffee, or cocoa to complement their supply chain efforts by engaging in a type of place-based partnership called the jurisdictional approach to drive scaled forest conservation in the places at highest risk of deforestation. This webpage aims to support that engagement by providing guidance and resources for Walmart suppliers.

  • Place-Based Partnerships and Jurisdictional Approaches
    Commodity production for agriculture and other sectors supports economic growth around the world, but unsustainable production and development often drives deforestation, which undermines productivity, disrupts water cycles, and contributes significantly to climate change. Company efforts to ensure their supply chains do not contribute to the problem are critical, but no company can solve deforestation alone. Neither can governments or others, for that matter. Collaboration is necessary to meet deforestation and climate goals set by the world’s leading companies, including Walmart and many of its suppliers.

    One form of scaling regional forest conservation through collaboration — the jurisdictional approach — brings companies together with governments and other local stakeholders in sourcing regions in an effort to transform some of the places at highest risk of deforestation into sustainable production landscapes. This approach touches down around the world in dozens of jurisdictional initiatives — multi-stakeholder coalitions with government leadership that create concrete plans to establish and maintain sustainable production at the level of a municipality, district, or province.
  • Why Engage?
    Despite a decade of corporate action aimed at reducing deforestation, forest loss persists and, in some regions, is growing. The agriculture and forests community has learned that companies addressing the individual impacts of their supply chains is valuable (such as with certified sustainable sourcing, traceability, and restoration efforts) but not sufficient to solve the problem. Underlying drivers of deforestation, such as poor governance or inadequate law enforcement, must be addressed by working with local governments, commodity producers, civil society organizations, community representatives, and other relevant stakeholders if companies are to meet their sustainability targets and meaningfully contribute to deforestation reduction. Jurisdictional initiatives enable this collaboration in key commodity-producing areas, with a goal of reducing deforestation while improving livelihoods at scale.
  • What is Walmart Doing?
    At the Global Climate Action Summit in September 2018, Walmart announced it was developing a platform within one of its key emission reduction initiatives, Project Gigaton, to make it easier for its suppliers who source commodities from regions with deforestation risk to create and support place-based approaches to reduce deforestation, such as jurisdictional initiatives. In line with that announcement, Walmart collaborated with Conservation International, Environmental Defense Fund, The Nature Conservancy, and World Wildlife Fund to identify jurisdictions with deforestation risk and connect suppliers with guidance on how to best support multi-stakeholder efforts to address deforestation. This webpage helps suppliers learn about jurisdictional approaches and meaningfully engage in new, high-impact ways.
    Forest conservation NGO logos
  • Priority Regions
    Walmart is beginning its work on scaling regional forest conservation through place-based approaches by promoting supplier engagement in three priority jurisdictional initiatives:
    Mato Grosso, Brazil: The Produce, Conserve, Include Initiative
    Aceh and North Sumatra, Indonesia: Coalition for Sustainable Livelihoods
    Sabah, Malaysia: Jurisdiction-wide RSPO certification

    These leading initiatives are ripe for engagement and offer robust proofs of concept for the jurisdictional approach that other regions can follow.

    Walmart actively encourages suppliers to engage in these three regions to drive reductions in deforestation and support sustainable development. Walmart’s efforts do not stop in these three landscapes. Our goal is to expand efforts by connecting suppliers to other high-risk regions that could use support to create and implement jurisdiction-wide strategies. The materials on this site help to guide suppliers in this engagement, and we will continuously improve these tools and resources as new opportunities arise.

Three Steps to Engage in Jurisdictional Approaches

  • Step 1: Do you know the sub-national jurisdictions from which you source deforestation-risk commodities?
    Deforestation-risk commodities include beef, soy, palm oil, pulp & paper, and cocoa.

    If you already know the origin states/provinces of the commodities you purchase, move on to step 2.

    If you know commodity origin only to the country level, or if you do not know country of origin, this section ranks global source regions for each commodity to help companies understand the subnational jurisdictions from which they are likely to be sourcing.

    Below you will find two maps and tables for each commodity, provided by The Sustainability Consortium.

    If you know that this commodity is manufactured in the United States into the products you buy or sell, look at the first map and table. The map displays a heatmap of subnational jurisdictions with highest volumes which are likely traded to the United States. Lighter green shading indicates higher volumes. You can assume that your supply originates from the jurisdictions with the highest volume that is supplied to the U.S. The associated table lists these jurisdictions for ease of reference.

    If this commodity is not manufactured in the United States into the products you buy or sell, or if you do not know the country of manufacture, look at the second map and table. The map displays a heatmap of volumes traded globally, broken out at the subnational level, and does not account for country of manufacture. Lighter green shading indicates higher volumes. You can assume your supply originates from the jurisdictions with the highest volumes. The associated table lists these jurisdictions for ease of reference.

    Click here for an explanation of the methodology behind these maps.

    After completing step 1, you will know the likely origin of the deforestation-risk commodities that you source, to the level of the sub-national jurisdiction. While this is not a perfect picture of your specific sourcing, it is a helpful starting place if you do not know the origin of your goods.

    Note: If you know the country of manufacture and the country is not the United States, The Sustainability Consortium can use this information to adjust these maps to display a more accurate representation of the subnational jurisdictions from which the commodities you source are most likely to originate.

    U.S. Manufactured or Packaged Products
    Use these maps and tables if the products you purchase are manufactured/packaged in the U.S.

    Products Not Manufactured or Packaged in the U.S.
    Use these maps and tables if the products you purchase are not manufactured/packaged in the U.S. or if you do not know the country of manufacture.
  • Step 2: Which jurisdictions have high risk of commodity-driven deforestation?
    Step 1 helps you understand the subnational jurisdictions from which the deforestation-risk commodities in your supply chain are likely to originate. The following data, provided by The Sustainability Consortium, will help you determine which of these jurisdictions are at high risk of deforestation associated with production of key commodities.

    Lighter shading indicates higher deforestation risk. You may prioritize your place-based engagement in one or more of these jurisdictions if they are also among the likely origins of your commodity supply. Step 3 provides guidance on which specific actions you may choose to take to engage.

    The data in step 2 may indicate that there are multiple jurisdictions from which your supply originates that have high deforestation risk. The guidance at this link (step 2, in particular) offers recommendations on how to decide which of a set of possible jurisdictions make the most sense for a given company to engage in.

    Click here for an explanation of the methodology behind these maps.
  • Step 3: What could you do to engage in the jurisdiction(s) you have prioritized?
    Once you’ve determined where to engage, the next step is to determine how to meaningfully collaborate with stakeholders to participate in a jurisdictional initiative with the aim of reducing deforestation. There are many ways to engage in a jurisdictional initiative. Keep in mind that each jurisdiction is unique, with its own set of goals and opportunities as well as challenges.

    This section provides specialized guidance and examples of how to engage. At present, it provides guidance for engaging in two leading jurisdictional initiatives — the Produce Conserve Include initiative in Mato Grosso and the Coalition for Sustainable Livelihoods in Aceh and North Sumatra.

    CSL Guidance: The Coalition for Sustainable Livelihoods (CSL) guidebook provides an overview of this initiative and its approach, and provides clear guidance for how companies can participate, promote, or fund the CSL.
    Mato Grosso Produce Conserve Include Pitchbook: The Produce, Conserve, Include (PCI) Pitchbook showcases on-the-ground projects that are working toward PCI goals and provide concrete opportunities for corporate engagement.

Next Steps

Planning a jurisdictional engagement may be easier when discussed with an NGO partner that can help you better understand the jurisdictional approach and what projects make the most sense for your supply chain. Below you will find the contact information for the NGOs that helped us develop this Scaling Regional Forest Conservation through Place-Based Approaches Platform. These NGOs are available to discuss jurisdictional approaches in general, jurisdictional initiatives in specific regions, and guidance on next steps.

Conservation International
Jessica Furmanski, Director Sustainable Agriculture (U.S. Lead)
Key contact for the jurisdictional initiative in North Sumatra and Aceh, Indonesia: Palm Oil, Coffee, Cocoa and Rubber.

Environmental Defense Fund
Ame Igharo, Project Manager Resilient Food and Forests
Key contact for the jurisdictional initiative in Mato Grosso, Brazil: Beef and Soy. Also available to discuss jurisdictional approaches in general.

The Nature Conservancy
Caitlin Clarke
Available to discuss jurisdictional approaches in general.

World Wildlife Fund
Akiva Fishman, Manager, Private Sector Interventions to Tackle Deforestation and Degradation
Key contact for the jurisdictional initiative in Sabah, Malaysia: Palm Oil. Also available to discuss jurisdictional approaches in general.

Additional Resources

If you are looking for more detail on what jurisdictional approaches are or how they can be helpful for businesses, check out these additional resources.