Greetings from Poland! NWF staff have been circling the National Stadium, speaking with government negotiators, civil society and the private sector. Yesterday was our opportunity to present the work we’ve been doing on partnerships between the public and private sectors to protect tropical forests while scaling-up sustainable agriculture. Protecting these forests not only preserves habitats in some of the most species-rich places on Earth, but also works to mitigate climate change that has disastrous effects on wildlife and people the world over.

Our official side event, “Innovative public-private partnership approaches to support REDD+ goals,” outlined a number of ways that governments are working with multinational corporations to “green” their supply chains, and also identified opportunities to continue towards sustainability and reducing deforestation.

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NWF’s side event panel at UNFCCC’s COP 19. From left: Eduardo Bastos, Niki Mardas, Nathalie Walker, Michael Obersteiner, Pak Heru Prasetyo

REDD is the United Nations’ program for establishing and maintaining a financial value for the carbon stored in the world’s forests. The acronym stands for “Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation,” and the “+” was added to include the role of conservation, sustainable management and enhancement of forest carbon stocks. The programs goals, therefore, are to create a system that will make it more valuable for farmers to keep forested land intact than it would be to deforest it for farmland or pasture.

Building Sustainable Partnerships

NWF and our partners have developed innovative partnerships to strengthen incentives to reach this goal in Brazil and Indonesia. The side event panelists included Eduardo Bastos, President of the Brazilian Roundtable on Sustainable Livestock (GTPS), Michael Obersteiner, an esteemed land-use researcher at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) in Vienna, Pak Heru Prasetyo, Indonesian President’s Delivery Unit for Development Monitoring and Oversight, and NWF’s own Nathalie Walker, Senior Manager of the Tropical Forest & Agriculture Project. Niki Mardas from the Global Canopy Programme (GCP) served as the panel’s moderator.

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NWF’s Nathalie Walker discusses Brazil’s soy moratorium

Bastos spoke to the wider context of agricultural land use in Brazil, and the great opportunity that the Brazilian cattle industry has to continue the efficiency gains that have made the industry so successful while simultaneously reducing deforestation. Obersteiner analyzed how Brazilian ranchers and the ecosystems they manage would benefit from international climate finance to overcome the perceived risk of investment in intensification and sustainability.

Walker traced the history and success of the soy moratorium in Brazil that has essentially halted deforestation driven by soy production—an excellent example of private sector initiative and government monitoring. She also introduced a new report written by NWF and GCP – Tools to Address the Drivers of Deforestation through Public and Private Sector Synergies. Finally, Pak Heru Prasetyo provided a public official’s perspective on the great importance of partnerships between the public and private sectors, and stressed the need for innovation in how the private sector engages and promotes REDD+. He ended by emphasizing that, “Investment that is low emission can produce the equity, growth, and sustainability that is needed.”

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