RELEASE: Forest Data Partnership Calls for Global Alliance to Unlock the Value of Land Use Data to Protect and Restore Nature
Forest Data Partnership rallies stakeholders to increase alignment around data that supports policymaking and corporate action
SHARM EL SHEIKH (November 14, 2022) – Today at COP27, Forest Data Partnership launched a call to action for companies, public institutions and NGOs to join forces in catalyzing and operationalizing better data on the world’s land and forests. The goal of the Forest Data Partnership is to improve land use decisions, accelerate the transition to supply chain sustainability and reverse commodity-driven forest loss across the world.
Forests play an important role in the fight against climate change. However, despite accelerated actions of private and public sector institutions, the world is still facing mounting levels of commodity-driven deforestation. A critical barrier to zero deforestation supply chains is the lack of consistency and transparency when it comes to data on forest extent, land use and drivers of land use change, along with limited consensus on how to interpret that data. In 2021, World Resources Institute (WRI), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), USAID, the U.S. Department of State, Google, NASA and Unilever created the Forest Data Partnership to tackle this issue.
“How can we create impact at scale if we are all measuring our individual actions in differing ways?” said Craig Hanson, Executive Vice President for Programs, WRI. “We urgently need a universally aligned approach to monitoring, verifying and disclosing progress, which will drive mutual cooperation and trust. The open-source, transparent geospatial data solutions of the Forest Data Partnership’s validation process will be a key facilitator of more positive outcomes moving forward.”
“Data is at the heart of all landscape monitoring, restoration and impact reporting efforts,” said Julian Fox, Team Leader National Forest Monitoring, FAO. “In order to drive system-wide change, we must address the key challenges posed by the current data landscape, which is fragmented and complex. This is a unique initiative purposefully designed to harness existing data, increase alignment, and develop broad consensus across the ecosystem.”
Call to Action
The Forest Data Partnership invites participation from leading companies that buy, produce or finance forest-risk commodities such as cattle, cocoa, palm oil and soy; along with national and sub-national governments, NGOs, and technical partners and communities located in tropical landscapes. Participants are expected to support the goals of the Partnership by:
- Aligning and engaging with stakeholders: Influence other stakeholders to align around key datasets and methods for monitoring commodity-linked deforestation and forest restoration through outreach, mobilizing other key actors to participate in the Forest Data Partnership.
- Delivering positive impact with data: Pilot and deploy the data, methodologies, analysis and other functional outputs produced by the Partnership, to track, verify and accelerate progress on forest-related commitments.
- Driving forest-positive value chains: Share expertise on unique commodity or sector-specific challenges and solutions that address key drivers of deforestation.
Learn more about supporting the Forest Data Partnership at http://forestdatapartnership.org
About the Forest Data Partnership
Initiated in October 2021, this five-year partnership, coordinated by the World Resources Institute (WRI) with support from USAID and the U.S. Department of State, brings together leading organizations, governments and private sector partners to collectively address the challenge of improving land use data. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and WRI will lead the development of the data ecosystem by convening public and private sector stakeholders, providing governance and facilitation, and maintaining technical facilities for implementation. SERVIR, a joint initiative of NASA, USAID and leading geospatial organizations, will build capacity to use geospatial data at national and regional levels through its network of hubs in Asia, Africa and Latin America. Google will support the initiative as the key technology partner and platform provider. Unilever will serve as the private sector lead for launching the ecosystem and coordinating private sector involvement.