Department Seminar: Kim Carlson
Title: Tropical conservation outcomes from sustainable supply chain governance initiatives
Abstract: Commodity crops such as oil palm and soybean have rapidly expanded into tropical regions, raising concerns around how increasing global demand drives loss of natural ecosystems, generates greenhouse gas emissions, and harms biodiversity. Many companies that produce or trade these commodity crops have responded to such concerns by engaging with sustainability initiatives including third-party certification schemes and zero-deforestation pacts. However, the direct and secondary spillover effects of such initiatives on land cover have remained uncertain. I address these uncertainties by discussing research that documents spatio-temporal patterns of sustainability initiative adoption and quantifying the effects of these initiatives. I focus on certification of oil palm plantations in Indonesia and zero-deforestation commitments among soybean traders in South America. Results inform the potential benefits of voluntary private supply chain governance initiatives for tropical conservation.