Lima, Perú, May 23. More than 300 global and regional leaders, government representatives, executive officers of multinational companies, civil society, practitioners, farmers, producers and indigenous leaders gathered last week at the Good Growth Conference in Peru to step up ambition and take concrete actions to promote sustainable production of agricultural commodities, responsible for an estimated 70% of tropical deforestation worldwide.
The conference was timely with the recent IPBES report calling for a profound transformation to conserve, restore and use nature in a sustainable way to avoid planetary collapse. The study revealed that between 1980 and 2000 more than 100 million hectares of tropical forests were lost globally.
"Peru is a megadiverse country, but it also suffers from the effects of climate change. We have to act now. Not only with laws, but with actions in the field. Our responsibility as human beings is to see how we reverse this situation," said the President of Perú, Martín Vizcarra, in his opening remarks during the inaugural session on Monday in Lima.
The Conference held within the framework of the Good Growth Partnership led by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in collaboration with, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), Conservation International (CI), the United Nations Environment Programme (UN Environment) and the World Bank's International Finance Corporation (IFC), enabled by the support of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) with support of the Swiss State Secretariat of Economic Affairs (SECo), and the German Corporation for International Cooperation (GiZ). Designed and led by UNDP’s Green Commodities Programme, to shine a spotlight on some of the world’s most important landscapes and agriculture commodity producing nations and aimed to inspire new understandings and foster meaningful global connections while equipping participants with the network and tools needed to influence the way we produce, finance and demand food.
"The message from science is crystal clear. We humans have become the dominant forces in degrading the natural environment and have pushed Earth to its limits," urged Naoko Ishii, CEO and Chairperson of the Global Environment Facility (GEF).
Starting with a high-level session in Lima and continuing with four days immersed in the Amazon, region of San Martin, the Good Growth Conference offered participants a unique platform to share knowledge and experiences and gain firsthand perspectives in Peru - a country with a rich history of producing some of the world’s finest agriculture commodities -, which have powered the country’s economy in recent decades while contributing to a steady decline in the number of Peruvians living in poverty. An experiential learning approach in the Amazon and five different field trips helped assistants gain a deeper connection to their work and built the resilience and motivation needed to sustain collective efforts for long-term change.
In the week-long conference, representatives of multinational companies, producers and local communities, NGOs and governments agreed that systemic transformation in the commodities sector can only be achieved through increasingly innovative and stronger collaborations. Delegates contributed to a national and international thinking around how collective and approaches to demand, production and financing of sustainable commodities can accelerate impact toward the Sustainable Development Goals.
“For this transformation we need champions at all levels to lead the change from business as usual and move our world into a sustainable future,” said Andrew Bovarnick, Global Head of UNDP’s Green Commodities Programme. “It is only through collective work to achieve sustainability in agriculture that we will bring the needed positive impacts on climate change, biodiversity and livelihoods that is urgently needed,” he added.