At COP26 over 140 countries came together to commit to ending deforestation by 2030, a commitment that is essential to ensure the world remains on a pathway of 1.5°C. However, at CDP we know ending deforestation cannot be achieved through individual action from companies or governments. Systemic deforestation drivers, that time and time again fail to be addressed, can only be adequately tackled if all stakeholders take a united approach under a collective goal. That is where Landscape and Jurisdictional approaches (LA/JA) come in. They provide a management framework that can integrate the actions of multiple stakeholders within a landscape towards a collective goal. Through these approaches, companies can meet their no-deforestation commitment while aligning their goal with the local government's vision for a sustainable future.
In 2020 and 2021, 687 (2020) and 865 (2021) companies disclosed using CDP's Forest questionnaires. Based on that data, we can see that the state of corporate engagement in sustainable land use approaches is evolving, with an increasing number of companies disclosing their engagement in LA/JA. The number of companies disclosing their engagement in LA/JA through CDP increased by more than 70% (from 27 to 47) from 2020 to 2021. However, understanding and engagement in LA/JA remain low and focused in just a few geographical areas. CDP's new report aims to provide an understanding of what LA/JAs are, their benefits, a pathway for action, and examples from five companies already engaged in them.
Combating deforestation and reversing ecosystem loss needs an integrated view and collective action. This report identifies the advantages and challenges of using landscape and jurisdiction approaches. For companies, it gives them an opportunity to identify potential supply chain risks and scale-up traceability, monitoring, and verification efforts. For governments and local authorities, it can help harness corporate action to contribute to national and subnational environmental targets.
Our report shows that collaboration to achieve common goals can go beyond strict commercial relationships (company–suppliers) and impact a wider group of organizations and support sustainable and resilient communities. Ultimately, sharing information, results, platforms, and systems should be a common objective of adaptive management and knowledge sharing. Collective action is key to driving successful sustainability initiatives, including LA/JA initiatives, in the corporate arena.
At CDP we want to see an increase in engagement with these new approaches as they can provide an effective framework for meeting sustainable land use goals over a specific subnational area. Importantly they also create an opportunity to tackle complex socio-environmental issues. Companies that engage in LA/JA for their high-priority sourcing regions can minimize their risk, achieve their sustainability goals and build resilient outcomes.
The continued success of LA/JA implementation relies on transparent and accurate disclosure. That is why CDP will introduce new questions in 2022 on this topic for both corporate and sub-national governments. These will help to raise awareness, guide and assess corporate and sub-national government engagement with LA/JA. The new questions will incentivize and support companies that are already engaging or planning to engage in LA/JA. Corporate engagement can take the form of contributing to a 'specific landscape/jurisdiction goals' or through taking 'specific actions' as well as through providing direct financial commitments to the initiative within the landscape or jurisdiction.
Landscape and Jurisdictional approaches could be the seismic shift towards tackling deforestation that we need. We are inviting all disclosing companies and subnational governments to increase their engagement and awareness with this approach and monitor the outcomes and benefits through the CDP standardized reporting framework.
To read about the value of collective action through Landscape and Jurisdictional approaches read the full report.