Demand-side interventions to reduce deforestation and forest degradation
Global demand for food, wood products, biofuels and other agricultural products drives the majority of deforestation and forest degradation. The importance of trade and increasing dominance of a relatively small number of multinational traders and retailers suggest a role for demand-side interventions to reduce incentives for deforestation driven by the expansion of commodity production.
A variety of demand-side measures have been developed and implemented over the last decade or more by government, private sector and civil society. Examples include legislation, public procurement policies, voluntary bilateral arrangements, multi-stakeholder roundtables, independent certification, moratoria, voluntary disclosure, investor activism and consumer campaigns.
This paper reviews demand side measures affecting five types of 'forest risk commodity', namely timber, soy, palm oil, beef/leather and biofuels. Information was collected from literature, interviews and an international meeting to identify challenges and opportunities.