Artikel ini untuk sementara hanya tersedia dalam Bahasa Inggris.

The global population by 2050 is estimated to hit 9.8 billion, causing a more than 50% surge in food demand. In consequence, the agriculture sector must produce more crops and livestock to meet the needs of the global population. Yet, supply chains of agriculture and forestry products tightly intertwine with major catastrophes to the earth and human, ranging from deforestation,  climate change, biodiversity loss, and human rights violations.

Meanwhile, in the last decade, the Southeast Asia (SEA) region grew into an important supplier, stopover, and end-user in global value chains (GVCs) and production networks, including the value chains on agriculture and forestry. Its rapid economic development was predicated on an outward-oriented trade strategy based on strong GVC linkages supported by foreign direct investment and regional trade agreements (RTAs). 

Parallel to the rapid economic growth, this region makes quite a large contribution to climate change. Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the region have been increasing in line with industrialization based on fossil-fuel energy and associated land-use change resulting in the loss of tropical forests and peatland rich in biodiversity.

AFi presence to eliminate deforestation, conversion, and human rights violation

To tackle those challenges, in late 2016, dozens of global environmental and social organizations collaborate as the Accountability Framework initiative (AFi) Coalition. In 2019, the Accountability Framework, a consensus-based roadmap built on global norms was launched in hopes of getting companies to commit to and achieve ethical supply chains in their business. Ethical supply refers to supply chain that protect forests, natural ecosystems, and human rights. 

The Accountability Framework consists of 12 Core Principles, Definitions, and Operational Guidance on various topics with detailed insights into implementing ethical practices into single commodity and cross-commodity supply chains of forestry and agricultural products that are linked to deforestation, conversion, and human rights violations for workers and local community. 

AFi for supply chain transformation in Southeast Asia 

To ensure the global implementation of the Accountability Framework, AFi actively collaborates with various stakeholders in Southeast Asia, one of the largest producers and consumers of agricultural commodities through the AFi Southeast Asia Coalition. AFi actively collaborates with various stakeholders in Southeast Asia, one of the largest producers and consumers of agricultural commodities through the AFi Southeast Asia Coalition. The AFi Southeast Asia Coalition has specific work in Indonesia and Malaysia by supporting key stakeholders in transforming forestry and agricultural supply chain, with the World Resources Institute (WRI) Indonesia as the regional secretariat during the recent years. Early activities and milestones in Southeast Asia can be found here.

The latest progression of AFi in Southeast Asia

AFi Coalition in Southeast Asia has been collaborating with the companies, policymakers, jurisdictions, multi-stakeholder initiatives, assessment platforms, and other organizations in the region. The coalition intends to help their partners to develop a pathway and goals, and measure their success in relevance to the establishment of ethical and responsible supply chains. In parallel, the coalition continuously builds and strengthen their capacity by holding joint learning sessions, science-based analysis, and communication strategies. 

The AFi Coalition in Southeast Asia assists the ethical supply chain journey of companies of various sizes. For a number of large companies, there has been capacity building related to how to commit, implement, and enhance sustainability policies and practices to eliminate deforestation, conversion of natural ecosystems, and human rights violations. At the jurisdictional or landscape level (place-based initiatives), the AFi Coalition’s engagement with small and medium-sized companies to promote the adoption of the Accountability Framework via a program namely AFi Clinic has predominantly advanced in Aceh (Aceh Timur and Aceh Tamiang), where at least seven companies measured their supply chain sustainability progress using the Accountability Framework’s Self Assessment Tool. Currently, some companies in Aceh are being assisted in implementing sustainable practices in accordance with the Accountability Framework (e.g. their standard operating procedure/SOP). Furthermore, initiation of the AFi Clinic, is also being conducted in West Kalimantan (Sintang and Sanggau) and South Sumatera (Banyuasin and Musi Banyuasin). The AFi Clinic team has been actively working with USAID Sustainable Environmental Governance Across Regions (SEGAR) as the key partner to enhance its involvement with local companies.

Apart from companies, AFi SEA Coalition also has ongoing collaborations with other supply chain actors such as sustainability initiatives, and financial network, government, landscape initiatives, and service providers. For example, an alignment effort of the Sustainable Coconut Charter with Accountability Framework has been conducted, where the sector sustainability guidance is relatively new and growing while the sector has posed some environmental and livelihood risks. In the coconut sector as well, some AFi coalition members are preparing to work on the landscape activities as well as policy advocacy on sustainable coconut planning up to the national level. Another example is the engagement with the financial sector, where AFi SEA Coalition has been working with the Asia Investor Group on Climate Change (AIGCC) by conducting capacity development for investors and broader stakeholders in Asia.

To drive more awareness of ethical supply chains, AFi SEA Secretariat released some publications on AFi’s blog, such as “How Financial Institutions Can Mitigate Deforestation Risks in Southeast Asia” and “Protecting Women’s Rights in Southeast Asian Commodity Supply Chains”, as well as contributing in the AFi webinar series. In an effort to better engage with the audience in Indonesia and strengthen AFi’s bond with the regional stakeholders, AFi also announces the launch of the Indonesian-language website and Framework’s documents.

Summary of Framework uptake

To date, various actors have adopted the Accountability Framework at numerous levels of uptake, starting from getting awareness on the Framework, use of the AFi Self-Assessment Tool, common definitions referencing, adoption of the Framework’s guideline, and further alignment. There are nearly 20 international companies, over 150 local companies or small-medium enterprises or smallholder groups, approximately 10 peer initiatives/NGOs, and a few numbers of industry groups, financial sector, service providers, and government which lead to a total of over 185 organizations. The use of the Framework in reality could be wider than what has been documented. The Framework uptake is a way to create further impacts, that is on eliminating deforestation, conversion of natural ecosystems, and violation of human rights for workers and local communities.

Adaptive to shift of needs

As supply chain situations evolve, so do our practices. Adapting to new challenges, AFi Coalition periodically update the Accountability Framework’s principles and guidance to stay relevant and effective for helping supply chain actors continuously improve their performance in environmental and human rights protection. Furthermore, the AFi continues to work with strategic actors by considering the local needs of every region.