Nature and Biodiversity

Forests and other natural ecosystems provide vital local and global ecosystem services, from clean water, flood prevention and soil stabilisation, to regulating regional rainfall and mitigating global climate change. Their complex networks of animals and plants embody important cultural values, as well as providing economic and social benefits for people, including Indigenous Peoples and local communities. 

We support companies and governments to identify biodiversity and nature values, understand threats, and recognise community dependence on natural resources. We develop tailored and equitable management and monitoring strategies that protect biodiversity and secure community resources, often using the High Conservation Value (HCV) approach. We use participatory approaches to identify and protect ecosystem services that local communities and Indigenous Peoples rely on. We also work with downstream companies to understand nature risks in their supply chains and develop strategies for tackling its loss.

Nature-positive practices: going beyond deforestation and conversion free (DCF)

Our aim is for agricultural and forest commodities to be produced and sourced from landscapes without deforestation or conversion, and for forests and natural ecosystems to be protected and restored.  

We support companies to eliminate deforestation and conversion from their supply chains. As we help them to understand and implement new regulations on deforestation and corporate social due diligence, we employ practical and robust methodologies and solutions to ensure they go beyond achieving clean supply chains to deliver equitable, inclusive, nature-positive outcomes. 

Working to achieve nature-positive outcomes brings long-term benefits for producers, for example by ensuring resilient production and improved livelihoods. Intermediaries, such as mills and traders, can secure their long-term supply chain and meet customer demands, while manufacturers and consumer goods companies meet their commitments to reduce and mitigate their forest and nature footprints. 

Working together: collaborative action delivers wider impacts

Collective action helps tackle root causes of unsustainable production and deliver longer-term positive impact at scale, within and beyond supply chains. We encourage our clients to work collaboratively with their peers and their suppliers in non-competitive spaces such as the Consumer Goods Forum’s Forest Positive Coalition (CGF FPC) and the Palm Oil Collaboration Group (POCG), for whom we provide technical facilitation. Such collaborative spaces help companies to safely share best practice, address sectoral challenges, and align on approaches and solutions for delivering Deforestation and Conversion Free (DCF) supply chains and nature-positive outcomes.  

We also actively engage with key organisations such as the Accountability Framework Initiative (AFi) and Science Based Targets for Nature (SBTN), by bringing our technical expertise of working with businesses on the ground, to their guidance on nature and biodiversity. We have joined the Science Based Targets Network's Corporate Engagement Programme to provide up to date advice to our clients on setting and achieving their targets.

Landscape investment for nature conservation and ecosystem restoration

Companies, governments and NGOs are recognising that implementing commitments to responsible sourcing and production in commodity agriculture is complex. This means that working with individual producers in individual supply chains is not efficient or effective for tackling root causes. Nature conservation and ecosystem restoration often occur beyond the boundaries of individual supply chains and involve multiple stakeholders. Addressing these issues requires a broader response.   

At a landscape level, we facilitate collaborative initiatives involving local communities, Indigenous Peoples, local government, national government agencies and production and sourcing companies. Through these landscape and jurisdictional initiatives stakeholders define shared objectives for nature conservation and ecosystem restoration, as well as issues such as agricultural productivity, land rights, and improved livelihoods.  

Companies investing in landscape initiatives are keen to report transparently on the actions they take and how these actions contribute to meeting their climate and nature commitments. The Landscape Reporting Framework, developed by Proforest with the CGF FPC and the Tropical Forest Alliance, complements other individual metrics and frameworks to objectively describe progress in landscape initiatives.

Nature tools and approaches

To achieve nature and forest positive outcomes, we have a long-term involvement in the support and development of practical tools and approaches such as High Conservation Value (HCV) and High Carbon Stock (HCS). Some of this work has included carrying out site-level assessments as well as trialling methodologies and tools to help mitigate smallholder exclusion (Nature Positive Farming), carrying out landscape-level assessments (HCV screening methodology) and implementing integrated and holistic approaches. 

We have licensed trainers to enable assessors to gain licenses to carry out High Conservation Value (HCV) and High Carbon Stock (HCS) assessments. We are also qualified to provide training on all HCV reporting requirements and assessment best practices.

Useful resources:

 

Accelerating Progress for Nature, Climate and People at Scale: Companies’ Roles and Action - (Proforest and the Tropical Forest Alliance, September 2023) 

Beyond Value Chain Mitigation: Incentivising Corporate Action at Landscape and Jurisdictional Scale (Conservation International, Earth Innovation Institute, Earthworm Foundation, Emergent, IDH, ISEAL, LandScale, Proforest, and TFA, August 2023) 

Common Methodology for Assessment of Progress Towards Deforestation- and Conversion-Free Supply Chains (AFi, January 2024) 

Downstream Company Engagement in Landscapes - Proforest Academy Course 

EU observatory on deforestation and forest degradation 

EU regulation on deforestation-free products: Recommendations for a forest positive impact (Proforest and IDH, June 2023) 

Geospatial risk assessment and ‘no deforestation’ commitments - (Proforest, December 2016) 

HCV-HCSA Assessment Manual (HCV Network, June 2023) 

Nature Positive Farming – package to support smallholder producers achieve Deforestation and Conversion Free sourcing requirements - (HCV Network, Proforest and International Climate Initiative (IKI), June 2023) 

Protecting HCVs in Landscapes - Proforest Academy Course 

Risk benchmarking  for the EU deforestation regulation: Key principles  and recommendations (Trase, Proforest, August 2023)