Multi-stakeholder initiatives

Supporting processes that involve many different groups, each with their own priorities, perspectives and experience can be very challenging, so achieving results requires neutral yet technically knowledgeable facilitation. When they are successful, multi-stakeholder processes can build consensus, achieve broad buy-in and deliver aligned goals.  Successful processes allow issues to be recognised and addressed jointly, which requires overcoming lack of trust, encouraging listening to other stakeholders, helping participants to understand each other’s points of view, as well as supporting active participation by all in order to find solutions.

For 20 years, Proforest has been a leader in supporting multi-stakeholder initiatives and partnerships across commodity sectors including palm oil, soy, sugarcane, cotton, beef, cocoa, forest products and rubber.

We have worked closely with many of the voluntary standard schemes including the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), Bonsucro, Rainforest Alliance, Better Cotton Initiative (BCI), Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), Global Platform for Sustainable Natural Rubber (GPSNR) and the Roundtable on Responsible Soy (RTRS), as well as the umbrella organisation for Voluntary Sustainability Standards (VSS) the ISEAL Alliance.

We also work with multi-stakeholder initiatives that provide guidance or best practice principles across sectors such as the High Conservation Value (HCV) Network, the High Carbon Stock Approach (HCSA), the Accountability Framework (AFi) and Landscale.

We support global and regional multi-stakeholder processes led by governments and multilaterals. We worked with the UN Global Compact on developing the Food and Agriculture Business Principles and with the European Union on supporting development of the timber licensing scheme for the FLEGT (Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade) programme. In Africa, we coordinate the Africa Palm Oil Initiative on behalf of the Tropical Forest Alliance, which brings together governments, companies and NGOs from ten countries and we produced the Marrakesh Declaration, an intergovernmental agreement on principles of good practice for palm oil production.

Much of our work involves facilitating processes, working groups, committees or task forces. As well as directly supporting processes, we also develop technical scheme documents, carry out background research, public consultations or compare requirements of different initiatives in standard benchmarking exercises. By helping stakeholders learn from one another, we can create harmonised requirements, better aligned goals or mutual recognition processes amongst standard schemes. 

Our long-standing audit and verification experience means we are endorsed training providers for lead auditor and HCV and HCS assessor training and can provide support for the development of assurance systems, including remote audit approaches.

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