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Reducing ‘forest footprints’: tackling demand for forest-risk commodities

Global commodity consumption continues to soar, and the planet is expecting some five billion new middle class consumers by 2030. Demand for palm oil, soy, beef, leather, timber and biofuels is driving tropical forest conversion, damaging the livelihoods of forest-dependent people and forest ecosystem services, and exacerbating climate change. Demand is so strong that it frequently frustrates national ‘supply-side’ efforts to curb deforestation. So it is now essential to also address the ‘demand’ or consumer end, including through regulations, public procurement policies, industry-led standards, certification schemes and campaigns. Too often such measures are delivered in isolation, limiting demand for ‘deforestation-free’ commodities. Public sector, industry players and civil society need a more coordinated approach that considers the ‘mix’ and interplay between different ‘demand-side’ measures and creates partnerships along supply chains.

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