Press Release

Colombia launches National Alliance for deforestation-free value chains

BOGOTA, COLOMBIA – November 28, 2017 – The Colombian chapter of the Tropical Forest Alliance (TFA2020) was launched today by the Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development, Luis Gilberto Murillo, as a public-private partnership that brings together the National Government, civil society organizations, corporations, producer associations, donor countries and multilateral entities to promote zero deforestation value chains. Deforestation reduction is consigned in Colombia´s National Development Plan 2018 – 2018, the Sustainable Development Goals and is one of the key points for the fulfillment of the country´s NDC.

“The TFA2020 Colombia that we launched today will be a platform to join forces in favor of sustainable production without deforestation. The best way to control this phenomenon is through the creation of productive systems that stops the advance of the agricultural frontier to strategic ecosystems. This alliance is very important for the country, attracting technical assistance, financial resources, knowledge, access to new markets and competitiveness,” said the Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development, Luis Gilberto Murillo.

In January of this year, Colombia formalized its adhesion to the Tropical Forest Alliance – TFA 2020 with the purpose of supporting member companies to fulfill their commitment to eliminate the deforestation footprint of their supply chains by 2020, particularly in the palm and beef sectors. The event was also the opportunity to sign an agreement of intent between the National Government and key stakeholders of the palm oil value chain in Colombia, namely Oilsum Group, Poligrow, BioD, Aceites S.A., Manuelita and Palmaceite, wholesalers and industrial buyers such as Team and Unilever, associations such as Fedepalma and Fedebiocombustibles and civil society organizations such as Solidaridad, Fundación Natura and WW. This agreement will foster member´s individual goals to increase their responsible production and sourcing of deforestation-free palm oil and products.

In this regard, the Minister of  Environment and Sustainable Development, Luis Gilberto Murillo, said that “the signing of the Zero Deforestation Agreement in Palm Oil represents a key effort in landing international commitments to the Colombian context and working together so that companies that join this agreement today, such as producers, processors, marketers and consumers of palm oil and derivatives in the country, can demonstrate that their production and supply chain is free of deforestation of natural forests, setting up monitoring and traceability schemes that can reach and document this commitment.”

For Cristina Bonillo, sustainable business director of Unilever, it is very important to adhere to this type of agreements, “mainly because the consumer is already demanding information about the origin of the ingredients and more sustainability in the purchase of palm oil. With this type of agreements, we can guarantee that there will be sustainable oil palm supply and it is important to work together, both with the producers, with the extractive industry, NGOs and the government in counteracting the effects of deforestation and climate change”.

The process of building the TFA2020 Colombia Alliance and the Zero Deforestation Agreement for the Palm Oil Chain was made possible thanks to the financial and technical support of the Global Green Growth Institute GGGI, which has been directly involved in the whole process responding to two specific commitments of Colombia with Norway, Germany and United Kingdom in the Joint Declaration of Intent. Other important allies in these initiatives are Tropical Forest Alliance 2020, Fondo Acción and the FCPF program of the Bank World, LECB Program of UNDP, the Embassy of Germany in Colombia, the Embassy of the Kingdom of Norway in Colombia and WWF.