For Immediate Release
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Tropical Forest Alliance 2020, a whole-of-government initiative led by U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Department of State, welcomed three global civil society groups as new partners in this public-private partnership to address tropical deforestation. At the same time, USAID announced a major new investment in a separate initiative that will support TFA 2020 goals by helping to monitor tropical deforestation. The announcements come on the heels of TFA 2020’s first international workshop, held in Indonesia June 27-28, 2013.
Conservation International, the Dutch Sustainability Initiative (IDH), and the World Resources Institute (WRI) are the first civil society groups to partner with TFA 2020, to take actions to curb deforestation linked to commodities such as palm oil, soy, beef, and paper and pulp. Current partners are the United States, the Consumer Goods Forum, Norway, Netherlands, and the United Kingdom.
“We are delighted to welcome our new partners, who bring decades of experience in tropical deforestation and help ensure we have collaboration from the many important actors all across the supply chain,” said Kit Batten, who leads U.S. engagement in TFA 2020 as Global Climate Change Coordinator for the U.S. Agency for International Development.
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono of Indonesia spoke at the opening event, pledging to increase cooperation with governments and businesses to ensure production of commodities like paper and palm oil does not destroy forests and respects customary lands and forest rights.
USAID said today it will contribute $5.5 million to a separate, but related initiative supporting WRI in developing a tropical forest monitoring tool called Global Forest Watch 2.0 (GFW 2.0). GFW 2.0 will bring together satellite imagery and monitoring systems, multiple tree cover loss alert systems, an abundance of overlay maps, and mobile technology to provide detailed, near-real time information on tropical forests. It will also include crowd-sourcing capability so people on the ground can report deforestation when it takes place.
The GFW 2.0 initiative will support TFA 2020 goals and receive support from several government, business and civil society partners, including Google, the Government of Norway, Staples, and the University of Maryland, among others. WRI will lead development of the new tool, and USAID will support all aspects of development, including working with developing country partners to ensure they have the capacity to access and use GFW 2.0.
TFA 2020 was initiated in 2012 by the U.S. Government and the Consumer Goods Forum, a business network of more than 400 retailers and producers from 70 countries with over $3 trillion in annual sales.
Last updated: June 25, 2015