This impact story is part of a collection of narratives that bring to life some of the complex challenges Forest Positive Coalition members are facing on our forest positive journey and our lessons learned. We’re committed to creating a culture of transparency and accountability, and these stories are just a glimpse of our ongoing efforts. We invite you to delve deeper into our 2023 Annual Report for more insights on this Coalition’s activities and progress, “Perspectives on Progress: Challenges and Insights on the Way to Forest Positive”.
The Indonesian provinces of Aceh and North Sumatra play a pivotal role in palm oil production and sourcing. However, the abundance of stakeholders and initiatives in these areas poses a risk of fragmented efforts in promoting sustainable production, livelihoods, and conservation. To address this, the Coalition for Sustainable Livelihoods (CSL) emerged with a distinct approach. Instead of isolated supply chain tactics, CSL fosters collaboration on the ground to identify synergies and amplify progress.
CSL acts as a localised platform, uniting district and provincial officials, industry players, farmers, communities, civil society groups, and strategic partners. The objective is to align around sustainable development priorities for palm oil landscapes and encourage the dissemination of best practices. While CSL is not a ‘typical’ Coalition landscape initiative in that it doesn’t directly deliver on-ground impact, it’s a crucial facilitator of initiative-level advancements in production areas and offers valuable insights into multi-stakeholder impact maximisation.
CSL’s initiatives encompass:
- Peer-to-Peer Learning: In 2022, the CSL Platform orchestrated a district exchange involving South Tapanuli and Aceh Tamiang. Over 40 participants explored effective district-level platforms for sustainable development and smallholder programs. Learnings from Aceh Tamiang expedited the issuing of land legality documents (SPPL, STDB) required for ISPO certification in South Tapanuli.
- Knowledge Product Development: CSL facilitated Sustainable Investment Action Plans (SIAPs) for Aceh, North Sumatra, and South Tapanuli. These documents align government programs with sustainability goals through participatory engagement.
Coalition members actively contribute to CSL’s success. They’ve shaped the platform’s evolution, funded workshops, and aided in knowledge product creation. Moreover, they’ve directly invested in on-the-ground landscape initiatives in Aceh Tamiang and South Tapanuli, enhancing conservation and restoration, improving farmer income, building capacity for sustainable production practices, and promoting forest management tools.
Coalition members’ participation in CSL has brought tangible benefits. Partners note that members’ reporting, monitoring, and evaluation requirements lend credibility to project evaluation and facilitate effective communication. Company participation in local meetings and field visits underscores companies’ commitment to sustainability and livelihood enhancement, improving perception of projects on the ground.
Recognizing the region’s significance and the potency of collaboration, Forest Positive Coalition members within the CSL Steering Committee express interest in extending CSL’s reach to new districts, a crucial stride for CSL’s future endeavours.