Priority Areas for Landscape Transformation

TFT’s pilot landscape areas came from our work-to-date in collaboration with our company members, including from knowledge gathering in three key countries to speed and scale the impact of that work.

Our aim was to find places where we have a chance to leverage our connection to relevant commodity supply chains, where there are significant risks of losing critical ecosystems to agriculture and/or where local communities are in need of economic development or at risk of exploitation. The chosen landscapes are all areas where TFT has an opportunity to add value by making the commodity supply chains serve the needs of communities while maximising the preservation of biodiverse land.

TFT’s efforts to transform landscapes are being piloted in three countries:

Areal Prioritas
The Landscape
The Landscape

Indonesia: Areal Prioritas Transformasi

Orangutan in Leuser Ecosystem by Peter Nijenhuis

The Areal Prioritas Transformasi programme in Indonesia (Areas for Priority Transformation, or “APT”) began in early 2016. It is being piloted in geographies in Indonesia that are experiencing high levels of encroachment on natural areas, deforestation, peat drainage, land conflicts and labour rights issues. Initial work in these areas is in the palm oil sector, which is both a key driver of economic development and of concerns over deforestation and exploitation in the country. The programme will build on the knowledge derived through TFT’s Aggregated Refinery Transformation (ART) Plans implemented with its palm oil members.

These pilot areas include two regions that abut the Leuser Ecosystem, the last place on earth where orangutans, tigers, elephants and rhinoceroses still co-exist and a UNESCO World Heritage site. Riau, home to over 600,000 ha of peat swamp and a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, is also a pilot area. Beginning in 2017, exploratory work is being done in a fourth area, Kalimantan, a biodiversity hotspot where there are multiple conflicts between local communities and palm oil plantations.

TFT’s aim in Indonesia is to contribute to existing, government-led land use planning activities using our unique set of tools and techniques and our ability to coordinate with major palm oil players who have committed to no deforestation and no exploitation in their supply chains. Our approach is to be:

  • Collaborative: No one can do it alone. Leadership from governments, commitment and support from brands and producers, expertise and advocacy from civil society and local knowledge, implementation and monitoring from communities all play a role. TFT provides tools, techniques and coordination to guide the process.
  • Specific: TFT will engage deeply with a selected number of suppliers to find long-term solutions and strategies to address their ongoing challenges in a way tailored to their unique situation. These techniques, and lessons learned from deep engagement, can then be used by others facing similar problems.
  • Scalable: Scale-up will be critical for real transformation. To speed impact beyond the deep-engagement of suppliers to the industry as a whole, TFT will distribute self-assessment tools, tested solutions, and online support to address issues and accelerate transformation.

Brazil: The Landscape Programme

Parque Estadual dos Pireneus, Brazil by Angela de Paula
In Brazil, the Landscape Programme will initiate work in 2017, focusing on the Cerrado biome, which is a mixed forest-savannah landscape. The Cerrado is the second largest biome in South America after the Amazon, occupying a little less than a quarter of the country. It is considered a biodiversity hotspot with over 4,000 endemic plant species, and is home to hundreds of bird and animal species including the giant anteater, jaguar and maned wolf. The Cerrado also carries great social importance in the country, with several indigenous and local communities depending on it for their livelihood. However, between 39 and 55% of native Cerrado has already been converted for agriculture and cattle ranching.

Initial work in Brazil will begin in Matopiba, an area comprising the states of Maranhão, Tocantins, Piauí and Bahia in North-eastern Brazil. Soy production has expanded rapidly in this region, which now produces more than 10 percent of Brazil’s soybeans.

Peru: The Landscape Programme

Manu National Park, Peru by Corey Spruit
In Peru, the Landscape Programme will initiate work in 2017, focusing on the Amazon rainforest in the northern part of the country. Although deforestation rates in Peru have been relatively low compared to its Amazonian neighbours, the expansion of palm oil and cacao production has recently emerged as a serious threat to forest ecosystems, indigenous community resource rights, and responsible labour practices in the Peruvian Amazon.

TFT’s staff in the region will conduct the research necessary to chose an initial priority pilot landscape from several potential opportunities that TFT has identified in its preparatory phase for this work.