Deforestation is clearing Earth’s forests on a massive scale, often resulting in damage to the quality of the land. Forests still cover about 30 percent of the world’s land area, but swaths half the size of England are lost each year. The world’s rainforests could completely vanish in a hundred years at the current rate of deforestation. The biggest driver of deforestation is agriculture. Growers cut forest to extend their plantations, farmers cut forests to provide more room for planting crops or grazing livestock. Often, small farmers will clear a few acres by cutting down trees and burning them in a process known as slash and burn agriculture. Not all deforestation is intentional. Some is caused by a combination of human and natural factors like wildfires and subsequent overgrazing, which may prevent the growth of young trees.
Kumacaya is an innovation enabling companies to invest in civil society in order to monitor what is happening on the ground in their supply chains, and to verify that their NDPE commitments are being delivered where they most count. As an independent monitoring and verification system, Kumacaya collaborates with local people who comes from where supply chains begin, and who are well placed to identify compliance and areas of improvement. The idea is to work with Civil Society Organisation and Experts to collect data from the ground situation.
Companies around the world including all TFT members have made specific commitments to no deforestation in their commitment, and Kumacaya has identified a high demand from both companies and campaigning organisations for an independent source of information on deforestation in this region.
During our work, TFT has been observed within a key palm oil growing landscape in North Sumatra. As it’s not possible to determine remotely the reason for deforestation, who is carrying out the deforestation and if there are future plans for deforestation, the idea of this monitoring project is to identify the causes of this deforestation happening. Is it due to industrial plantations? Smallholders? Villagers that would like to do everyday agriculture to supply their need? What crop are they planting? Palm, rubber, pulp and paper or another type of production? Who is the parent company behind the deforestation? Who are they selling their products to?
The objective of this Kumacaya monitoring project on deforestation that will be carried out by independent civil society is to identify who is responsible for this deforestation and why?
What are the drivers of deforestation?
Who is deforesting? (Smallholders, communities…)
What are the incentives, what is motivating that deforestation?
If they are palm oil growers to which mills are they supplying?
What are their current livelihoods? Are there alternative livelihoods that avoid deforestation?
Is there interest in protecting forests? Where can we support community-managed forest?
Are there any farmer groups that wish to support this work