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Speaker: Mike Senior, Senior Project Manager, Proforest
Deforestation associated with production of commodities including palm oil, soy, cocoa, beef and pulp and paper continues to be a global concern. In response, many supply chain companies have made commitments to eliminating deforestation from their commodity supply chains by 2020. Huge progress has been made with new approaches and tools that help supply chain companies implement their commitments by defining and identifying forests and by monitoring deforestation in their supply bases. Nonetheless, rates of deforestation remain high in many locations and as 2020 approaches, there is an urgent need to review progress with meeting these commitments and to identify and address the remaining challenges. Why is deforestation continuing and what solutions are needed to ensure commitments are implemented and forests protected on the ground?
Based on Proforest’s experience of working directly with supply chain and producer companies, as well as supporting multistakeholder initiatives (such as the Africa Palm Oil Initiative), Mike will talk about:
- The main challenges to stopping deforestation on the ground in different contexts, with particular examples from oil palm in SE Asia and beef in Brazil,
- Emerging solutions to these challenges, focussed on “bottom-up” strategies such as participatory land-use planning and ‘Produce-Protect-Include’ approaches, and
- The role of the research community in understanding and addressing the challenges on the ground.”
At Proforest, Mike is a part of the ‘Upstream’ or production team, working primarily on environmental aspects of sustainability including High Conservation Value (HCV), High Carbon Stock (HCS) and GIS work. This involves conducting HCV/HCS assessments along with developing and supporting new, higher-level tools and approaches on HCV and HCS. Mike also co-leads Proforest’s geospatial risk assessment work for responsible sourcing of commodities including soy, palm oil and beef.
Mike has a background in applied tropical forest ecology and conservation biology, and has carried out extensive fieldwork in forest and oil palm environments in Latin America and Malaysian Borneo. His experience covers biodiversity monitoring, landscape conservation and sustainable agricultural and forestry policy, with a particular focus on the palm oil sector and the HCV approach. Mike has also worked on REDD+ and community-based monitoring of ecosystem services, and has a PhD in Tropical Forest Ecology from the University of York.