Enabling conservation in global agricultural supply chains

 

As human population and levels of wealth continue to grow, agricultural production continues to expand. The supply chains for products such as soy, beef, and palm oil span the globe and involve a wide range of stakeholders and actors. Unfortunately, the expansion of agriculture is a primary driver of habitat and biodiversity loss in parts of the world such as tropical South America. Although there is an agreement of the importance reducing biodiversity loss and  commitments to reduce or halt deforestation by many large companies on these supply chains, it remains difficult to achieve and implement in practice. One of the key challenges is that stakeholders holds different views on how this should be achieved.

 

To try and deal with this challenge, Duan, working with Malika Varha Samway at the Luc Hoffmann Institute established a project called, 'disentangling stakeholder perspectives to reduce biodiversity risks on global agricultural supply chains’. This project is part of a broader research initiative focussed on soy in Brazil to understand the biodiversity risks in agricultural supply chains , and how to mitigate them. This project is a partnership between the University of Queensland, WWF-the Luc Hoffmann Institute, the Stockholm Environment Centre, where researchers are tracing the contribution of different companies and players to production, trade, and deforestation, and the World Conservation Monitoring Centre (wcmc.org) and the University of Cambridge, where the biodiversity impacts of soy expansion are being quantified and mapped. Angela Guerrero a postdoctoral research fellow at the Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions is appointed on this project and taking the lead in doing the work by eliciting the mental models of companies, farmers active in the soy supply chain and the NGOs such as WWF-Brazil, working to mitigate the threats of expansion.