PARIS, 7th November 2019 – Representatives from The Consumer Goods Forum (CGF) recently met with a delegation from the Brazilian Indigenous Peoples Articulation (APIB), a national coalition and the voice of the Indigenous movement in Brazil. The goal of the meeting was to begin an ongoing dialogue between the two parties, and to provide APIB with a platform to express their concerns over the ongoing environmental and social issues in Brazil, specifically around deforestation, and to further explore the role CGF members could play in addressing these issues. The meeting was facilitated with the support of Mighty Earth.
The meeting took place in Brussels on 4th November and was part of the APIB’s tour of 12 European countries, from 17th October to 20th November, to address governments and businesses and to raise awareness within Europe on the violations against Brazilian Indigenous Peoples. The tour also calls on the Brazilian government and global agribusiness companies to fulfil international agreements on climate change and human rights signed by Brazil – including the Paris Agreement, the International Labour Organization (ILO) Convention 169, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, among others.
During the meeting, the seven-strong delegation from the APIB expressed their frustrations and concerns over the rate of deforestation in Brazil and the intensification of attacks on Indigenous Peoples. They noted that over the weekend yet another forest guardian – Paulo Paulino Guajajara – had been killed by illegal loggers, a story that was widely reported in global media. They asked that the private sector, including members of the CGF, take greater responsibility for the climate crisis and the situation in Brazil by not buying or displaying products that come from/include commodities from conflict areas, illegally deforested or indigenous lands, or products produced/sourced with the use of slave labour.
The delegation then called on industry to improve the monitoring of commodities being sourced and to establish results and report more transparently. They also asked for industry support in educating global consumers on how to consume responsibly.
In response, The Consumer Goods Forum, led by Environmental Sustainability Director Ignacio Gavilan, began by thanking the delegation for their time and for meeting with the CGF during a busy schedule. The CGF acknowledges the ongoing issues in Brazil and need for greater collective action on halting deforestation. He said that while CGF members have made progress on their 2020 deforestation goals, the industry has since learned that cleaning up individual supply chains won’t alone drive the transformation needed to end deforestation. However, CGF members remain committed to playing their part in building a forest positive future.
Ignacio went on to say that the CGF is currently developing a new strategy on tackling deforestation. He noted that with the support of the CGF, members are working collaboratively to transform how they do business, and we expect and want suppliers to do the same. The CGF will also be partners in driving change by supporting integrated land use approaches and policies, and CGF members fully acknowledge policies that respect and protect indigenous land rights and promote decent working conditions are integral to stopping deforestation.
The CGF, together with key partners like the Tropical Forest Alliance (TFA), founded by the CGF and US Government in 2013, recognise that engagement with Indigenous Peoples is necessary to reduce deforestation in supply chains given their unique position for delivering concrete action in key landscapes.
The latest United Nations (UN) report on climate change has, for the first time cited the strengthening of Indigenous Peoples ‘and local communities’ land rights as a solution to the climate crisis. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report on Climate Change and Land, released in early August, recognises that the traditional knowledge and sustainable management of lands and forests by Indigenous Peoples is critical to reducing global emissions and removing CO2 from the atmosphere.
In conclusion, the two parties agreed to keep the dialogue going – with the support of Mighty Earth. They will also engage more with the work of the Tropical Forest Alliance, which already supports a collaborative effort with regional stakeholders and Indigenous Peoples in Brazil, Colombia and other countries who share the goal of eliminating deforestation from key agricultural and forest commodity supply chains. The TFA sees the deepening engagement with indigenous leaders and their communities as central to a forest positive future.
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The Brazilian Indigenous Peoples Articulation (APIB) is national coalition and the voice of the Indigenous movement in Brazil. APIB was created to strengthen the union of Indigenous Peoples and enhance communication between the different regions and indigenous organisations of the country; unify the struggles, the agenda, the demands, and the politics of the Indigenous movement; and mobilise Indigenous Peoples and organisations in the country against threats and aggressions against Indigenous rights. More info at https://en.nenhumagotamais.org/
The Consumer Goods Forum (“CGF”) is a global, parity-based industry network that is driven by its members to encourage the global adoption of practices and standards that serves the consumer goods industry worldwide. It brings together the CEOs and senior management of some 400 retailers, manufacturers, service providers, and other stakeholders across 70 countries, and it reflects the diversity of the industry in geography, size, product category and format. Its member companies have combined sales of EUR 3.5 trillion and directly employ nearly 10 million people, with a further 90 million related jobs estimated along the value chain. It is governed by its Board of Directors, which comprises more than 50 manufacturer and retailer CEOs. For more information, please visit: www.theconsumergoodsforum.com.
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