UNDP launches new initiative to strengthen global commodity supply chains


The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) on Wednesday September 6, 2017 in New York launched a new initiative, Good Growth Partnership that aimed at strengthening sustainable agriculture and reduce deforestation.
Funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF), the Good Growth Partnership will work with the governments of Brazil, Indonesia, Liberia and Paraguay, as well as the private sector and civil society organisations to enable lasting, transformative change throughout three key global commodity supply chains: soy, beef and palm oil.
Led by the UNDP’s Green Commodities Programme, the partnership will be implemented in collaboration with Conservation International, the International Finance Corporation, UN Environment and World Wildlife Fund.
“From my vantage point this initiative, the Good Growth Partnership, is long overdue. Agriculture in the 21st century is fundamental and foundational to our very existence but ironically it has become one of the biggest challenges we face in our pursuit toward sustainability and an inclusive green economy,” said UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner during his opening address at the launch.
“I want to thank our partners who have helped to make this partnership come alive, to thank all of you who have come together today to make this partnership possible and indeed a touchstone for many who are looking to change the markets of the future,” added Mr. Steiner.
Coordinating and building on the partners’ expertise in the areas of sustainable finance, demand and production of agricultural commodities, the Good Growth Partnership will support governments to fortify their assistance to small-scale farmers and strengthen land use policies by convening industry stakeholders for national action. It will also focus on raising awareness to influence the global demand of sustainably produced agricultural commodities and supply chain transparency in addition to engaging the finance sector with new opportunities for investment.
“As demand for agricultural commodities grows, we need to develop forward-thinking business models to manage sustainable commodity production that also maintains forests and important ecosystem services,” said Naoko Ishii, CEO and Chairperson of the Global Environment Facility at the UN launch.
“With its alliances and growing links to the private sector, the Good Growth Partnership is poised to help change commodity production pathways by placing long-term sustainability at the heart of the supply chain,” she further added.
Erik Solheim, the Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme, said,“This collaborative work, encompassing demand, supply and finance of commodities is a critical step towards safeguarding sustainable economies where people and nature can prosper together. The involvement of members of UN Environment’s Finance Initiative ensures that the finance industry is fully engaged in delivering this transformative change.”
Jennifer Morris, President, Conservation International: “CI works towards sustainable development that protects our planet and supports farmers. Agriculture is the largest single driver of deforestation, yet forests are critical in combating climate change – 30% of emissions reductions could come from the protection and restoration of forests while supporting growth in sustainable agriculture. Partnering with leaders across the environmental, conservation and business sectors is critical in meeting this pressing global challenge.”
Jason Clay, Senior Vice President of Markets and Food, WWF, said,“We can meet growing demand for food while preserving forests and other critical habitats as well as the invaluable social, environmental, and economic services they provide. Through the Good Growth Partnership, the market has an opportunity to do so for this and future generations.”