Global Rules for Sustainable Farming

A comparison of social and environmental safeguards for REDD+ and Principles & Criteria for Commodity Roundtables.


C. Stickler, T. Bezerra, and D. Nepstad, with input from RT-REDD consortium members.


Two parallel processes hold the potential to considerably reduce tropical forest conversion to agriculture, the cause of 12-15% of the world’s anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. First, agricultural commodity “roundtables” have established international social and environmental performance criteria for farmers, including restrictions on deforestation. Second, REDD+2 is developing systems for compensating tropical nations or states/ provinces that reduce their emissions from deforestation and forest degradation. The potential synergies between these processes are large. Farmers seeking roundtable certification are restricted by certification costs. REDD+ is restricted by weak carbon markets and difficulties engaging the farm sectors that are the main drivers of deforestation. The “RT-REDD+ Consortium” was created to help realize these synergies, linking farmers in need of funding to certify their farms with REDD+ programs that are striving to engage their farm sectors.