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Multi-stakeholder Initiatives Support

The Multi-stakeholder Initiatives Support Programme assists the development of voluntary standards systems and other sustainability initiatives. Proforest facilitates processes and working groups, and supports the technical development of documentation and system tools.

What are our priorities?

We focus our support for multi-stakeholder initiatives on facilitating processes and providing technical support to working groups. We believe in supporting collaborative projects between different initiatives. This increasingly involves work on jurisdictional or landscape approaches. These offer the potential to achieve greater positive impacts for people and the environment, because they include local government as key stakeholders. 

What does the programme do?

We provide on-demand support to many different sustainability initiatives and their partners. Typically our inputs fall into three main areas:

  • Facilitating processes and working groups to help them develop standards, policies and procedures.
  • Facilitating cooperation and dialogue between sustainability initiatives, making technical comparisons between schemes, and supporting activities that benefit the voluntary standards sector overall.
  • Providing technical skills and advice on policies, standards, documentation and tools.

Our recent and current projects include:

RSPO Group Certification

Proforest facilitated and provided technical support to the development of the group certification system, which included public consultations in five languages and meetings in Asia, Africa and Latin America. RSPO certification is now accessible to small, medium and large independent oil palm growers.

Tropical Forest Alliance 2020

Proforest is providing technical support to the Tropical Forest Alliance 2020 (TFA 2020) to set up and develop its activities in West and Central Africa. TFA 2020 aims to tackle the drivers of tropical deforestation associated with the sourcing of commodities such as palm oil, soy, beef, paper and pulp.

Brazilian Roundtable on Sustainable Livestock (GTPS)

Proforest provided long-term organizational, technical and facilitation support, resulting in the adoption of principles, criteria and indicators by GTPS.

REDD+ Social & Environmental Standards Initiative

Multi-year support including advice on standards and guidance; facilitation of governance and learning events; mentoring and evaluation.

Why is it important?

Sustainability initiatives address the management of agricultural commodities or natural resources, such as palm oil, sugar or forest products. They are designed to minimise the negative environmental and social impacts of their sector. Typically, they bring together a wide range of stakeholders from the sector, ranging from production companies to NGOs, investors, supply chain companies and government.

To set up and manage a sustainability initiative requires technical knowledge about the resource itself. It also needs an understanding of the processes for developing and agreeing policies and implementation strategies, standards or other elements of a scheme. These processes can be difficult and even conflictive, due to the differing priorities of various stakeholders. Poorly designed sustainability initiatives can be difficult to implement, impractical, or may exclude certain groups such as smallholders.

Sustainability initiatives supported

We have worked with many sustainability initiatives including Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO); Roundtable on Responsible Soy (RTRS); Bonsucro; Forest Stewardship Council (FSC); Sustainable Agriculture Network (SAN); Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials (RSB); ISEAL Alliance; Tropical Forest Alliance (TFA) 2020; Brazilian Roundtable on Sustainable Livestock (GTPS); Better Cotton Initiative (BCI); Cotton made in Africa (CMIA); FLOCERT; REDD+ Social & Environmental Standards (REDD+ SES); UN Global Compact; Aluminium Stewardship Initiative (ASI); High Conservation Value (HCV) Resource Network.   

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