Cultivating Sustainable Production2023-08-12T09:24:38+00:00

Land clearing for agriculture production is one of the biggest drivers of tropical deforestation today. Negative impacts associated with commodity-driven deforestation include loss of biodiversity, high levels of greenhouse gas emissions and the reduction of carbon storage sinks. Deforestation also degrades soil, uproots indigenous communities and compromises fresh water sources.

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Despite this, agriculture is a vital economic backbone for developing nations. It is the largest source of income and jobs for poor rural households, and the second largest source of employment worldwide.

Increasing farm yields, access to finance and return on labour, while better managing natural resources with effective policy, will be key to enabling ‘good growth’ and reducing the need for further forest encroachment.

The Good Growth Solution

The Good Growth Partnership provides technical support to national and sub-national governments so that they can overhaul the way commodities are produced, creating sector wide and lasting change. This involves convening diverse stakeholders around a common vision and an agenda for action. Essentially our approach enables governments to fortify their support to producers, and to reform laws as well as enforcement systems.

Through the Partnership we strengthen our efforts to cultivate sustainable production by aligning the national development plans and aspirations of producing countries with growing global demand for sustainable goods and investment.

Through the FOLUR K2A Global Platform, we work with countries to strengthen their capacity to engage multiple stakeholders, including the private sector, to define and implement effective collective action to achieve sustainable production. This includes capacity to enhance producer support system by aligning public and private actions and adopting innovative solutions.

Our Goals at a Glance

Contact global project manager Pascale Bonzom to learn more about how the
Good Growth Partnership is cultivating sustainability in commodity supply chains.


hectares of HCV and HCS forest areas in commodity producing landscapes protected through zoning, or similar legal protections enabled by the Partnership.

tons of CO2 emissions avoided due to gazettement and other related land use and protection strategies developed or supported by the Partnership.

government-led action plans for the production of sustainable commodities — 2 national, 4 sub-national and 3 district-level — facilitated and enabled by the Partnership.

new policy and regulation reforms that support sustainable production and land use developed with the technical and multi-stakeholder convening power of the Partnership.

national and regional strategies, designed with technical support from the Partnership, to systemically train small-scale farmers en mass.

farmers trained in sustainable agricultural practices via Good Growth Partnership pilot projects.

Our Work in Country

Soy in Brazil
Palm Oil in Indonesia
Beef in Paraguay
Palm Oil in Liberia

Supporting Sustainable Soy Production in Brazil

Today, Brazil produces about one-third of the global soy supply and earns more from soybean exports than from any other commodity. Although soybean production is generating much-needed revenue for the Brazilian economy, it is also threatening vast ecoregions considered to be among the most biodiverse in the world.

Over the past two decades Brazil has witnessed a new agricultural frontier open up in an area of the Cerrado known as the MATOPIBA1. This frontier threatens the remaining natural vegetation, which once covered an area half the size of Europe. It includes the headwaters of three South American major river basins (Amazon, São Francisco and Plata) and is home to several indigenous territories and communities who wholly depend on the biome’s natural resources for their survival.

1MATOPIBA is an important agricultural frontier in Brazil. The region comprises the Cerrado portions of the states of Maranhão, Tocantins, Piauí and Bahia, which combine good geographical conditions for the cultivation of grains.

The Good Growth Solution

To reduce environmental threats in the agricultural frontier and to promote sustainable soy production, in its pilot phase, the Good Growth Partnership — in collaboration with the Brazilian Foundation for Sustainable Development (FBDS) — worked with the government of Brazil to identify and encourage soy cultivation in already deforested or degraded lands.

Other aspects of the project included:
  • Facilitating dialogue between the government, academia, farmers, civil society and soy buyers to define a sustainable vision for the development of the MATOPIBA region.
  • Providing technical support to the government for the implementation of safeguards in the MATOPIBA that protect and enhance land use rights for traditional communities.
  • Advocating for and encouraging increased compliance with Brazil’s Forest Code, a law requiring landowners to maintain 35 to 80 percent of native vegetation on their property.
  • Implementing a farmer support system that provides and disseminates training on natural capital management as well as low carbon agricultural practices and soy and cattle integration.
  • Implementing demonstrative areas of innovative techniques and practices for the restoration of degraded land and to encourage sustainable land use.
  • Improving decision-making processes related to regional landscape planning, nature conservation, restoration of native vegetation and sustainable agricultural production through the development of an online platform that generates updated specialised knowledge.
  • Paving the way for increased women participation and empowerment in soy supply chain sustainability through recommendations from a gender analysis and creation of resources.

Balancing Growth with Sustainability in Indonesia’s Palm Oil Sector

Indonesia is the world’s largest producer of palm oil. The country produces more than 45 million tons of palm oil per year, which is found in about half of all packaged products that are sold in supermarkets worldwide. In recent decades the sector has become vital to the country’s economy, providing employment and economic opportunities to well over 4 million people and generating $18 billion in export revenue.

However, unsustainable palm oil production is contributing to rapid tropical forest destruction and climate change. A significant portion of Indonesia’s forest loss in recent years can be attributed to illegal logging and the expansion of oil palm plantations.

The Good Growth Solution

In its pilot phase, the Partnership facilitated the finalization, presidential approval and implementation of the National Action Plan for Sustainable Palm Oil (NAP-SPO), which defines and enables wide-scale solutions and investment for the production of sustainable Indonesian palm oil. It is strengthening the capacity of the government-led Sustainable Palm Oil National Action Plan Implementation Team to implement the NAP-SPO and ensure multistakeholder engagement takes place for accelerated action and policy dialogue.

The Good Growth Partnership also contributed to NAP-SPO implementation through policy reform for strengthened smallholder support system, sustainable production, and land use at national and subnational levels.

Additional key areas of work included:
  • Launching and facilitating provincial platforms and district forums as well as the development, adoption, and implementation of action plans for sustainable palm oil in three major producing provinces — North Sumatra, Riau, and West Kalimantan — all of which coordinate with the Sustainable Palm Oil National Action Plan and its Implementation Team at national level.
  • Addressing women specific issues in sustainable palm oil policies.
  • Land use planning and improved land use change monitoring in vulnerable landscapes.
  • Facilitating public-private partnerships to share knowledge and encourage investment.

Please see the results obtained in Indonesia under the “Our Impact” section section. To learn more about the Good Growth Partnership’s efforts in Indonesia, contact, Muhammad Fithriadi of UNDP Indonesia.

Convening the Chaco for Greener Pastures in Paraguay

Paraguay’s agricultural sector employs more than 40% the nation. Beef is among the country’s most important commodities.

In the coming years, Paraguay is poised to become one of the largest beef exporters in the world. This is partly due to a joint plan between the government, national producers and traders to ramp-up production.

While an increase in beef production will bring great economic benefits to the country, where poverty remains to be a challenge, this growth must be managed sustainably. Over the last 20 years, Paraguay has lost 32% of its humid tropical primary forest cover, which is the highest rate of primary forest loss of any country in the tropics.

Through good agricultural practices, protection of high conservation value areas and respect to indigenous communities, there is an opportunity for Paraguay to meet growing global demand for sustainable beef.

The Good Growth Solution

In its pilot phase, the Good Growth Partnership worked with government stakeholders, producers and companies to sustainably intensify beef production in the Chaco, a vast semi-arid region encompassing the entire western-half of the country.

One of the major outcomes of this work has been the launch of a government-led regional beef platform in the Chaco. This platform facilitated multi-stakeholder input into a regional beef action plan which addresses barriers to good agricultural practices, planning for better land use, supply chain transparency and access to sustainable finance.

Other efforts included:
  • Enhancing the enabling environment for sustainable beef production through policy reform.
  • Strengthening the farmer support system for adopting good agricultural practices through government and private sector channels and services.
  • Supporting efforts to drive commodity expansion away from forested and important conservation areas. This included the identification of key priority areas for conservation and biodiversity connectivity to guide land use planning.
  • Conducting an economic analysis of the environmental costs and benefits of moving to a sustainable production model, which helped to identify key sustainable production policies.
  • Improving the land use change monitoring system to identify illegal crop and grazing land expansion in the Chaco.
  • Promoting women inclusion in the commodity supply chains of Paraguay through a women leader platform facilitating exchanges between women and supporting women empowerment.

Please see the results obtained in Paraguay under the “Our Impact” section section. To learn more about the Good Growth Partnership’s efforts in Paraguay, contact Oscar Rafael Gadea of UNDP Paraguay.

Setting Liberia’s Palm Oil Potential on a Sustainable Path

Touted as the next “palm oil frontier,” Liberia boasts fertile soil, a tropical climate, uncultivated land and high levels of rainfall. Projected to provide thousands of jobs for a nation with over 25% of its population people living in extreme poverty, palm oil promises to offer Liberia a welcome economic break. But there is a catch.

Without effective management and oversight of the burgeoning palm oil industry, Liberia risks destroying vast primary forests along with critical natural resources and the benefits they provide to the communities who depend on them.

Furthermore without genuine consultation, involvement and consideration for local communities who live and survive on areas designated for palm oil development, a climate of conflict and exploitation could ensue. An estimated 70 percent of Liberians depend on agriculture for their livelihoods and many are not convinced that the promised economic growth of the palm oil sector will benefit them. The United Nations has identified land and property conflict in Liberia as a serious threat to the country’s peace and development.

The Good Growth Solution

Technical support for the Oil Palm Technical Working Group (OPTWG) which transitioned towards the National Oil Palm Platform of Liberia (NOPPOL) has been central to the Good Growth Partnership’s efforts in Liberia in its pilot phase. This existing national platform was strengthened with neutral facilitation and expanded with cross-sectoral membership especially from local communities, producers and palm oil concession managers. Currently the Ministry of Agriculture leads the national platform with the expectation that inter-ministerial cooperation and participation will continue to be increased. Decisions and actions agreed on within the working groups have being included in a National Oil Palm Strategy and Action Plan, currently under implementation.

Additional activities included:
  • Supporting the government to establish a landscape level forum, encompassing the counties of Bomi and Grand Cape Mount to ensure that the concerns and considerations of local communities are represented in national decision making and land use conflicts are addressed.
  • Completing the national interpretation of RSPO principles and criteria, which, among other benefits, will create opportunities for smallholders to become RSPO certified and access new markets.
  • Modeling and trialing incentives for effective long-term conservation agreements with local communities.
  • Starting the process to define areas of high conservation value and high carbon stock to direct agricultural development toward locations of lower environmental value.
  • Developing a study to analyse relevant frameworks for improving land use planning and facilitating related policy recommendations to ensure production does not occur in important conservation areas.
  • Testing a community-based land use monitoring system to identify illegal activities in conservation areas.
  • Promoting active engagement and participation of women in the multistakeholder platforms.

Please see the results obtained in Liberia under the “Our Impact” section section. To learn more about the Good Growth Partnership’s efforts in Liberia, contact Dorsla Farcarthy of UNDP Liberia.