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Tropical Forest Alliance: Africa Palm Oil Initiative

Meridian plays a key role in the Tropical Forest Alliance’s Africa Palm Oil Initiative, which connects leaders from West and Central Africa in their pursuit of a sustainable regional palm oil industry.

The Tropical Forest Alliance (TFA) is a global public-private partnership that aims to protect tropical forests by removing deforestation from the palm oil, beef, soy, cocoa, and paper & pulp supply chains. TFA partners see the value of forests in slowing climate change, sustaining species, and providing livelihoods for forest-dependent communities. They understand they cannot save the world’s forests without working together. Meridian helped form the TFA and establish it within its permanent home at the World Economic Forum.

The three priority regions for TFA partners are Southeast Asia, South America, and West and Central Africa, because they contain the majority of the world’s remaining tropical forests. While we have facilitated meetings and managed initiatives in all three regions, most recently we have played a key role in helping incubate the TFA Africa Palm Oil Initiative. It seeks to make the oil palm sector a driver of long-term, low-carbon development in ten West and Central African nations—while also ensuring that this development is socially beneficial and protective of the region’s forests. Meridian’s consensus-building process led to seven countries signing a Declaration that promises to protect over 70% of Africa’s tropical forests from unsustainable palm oil development.

Various country teams are now working to actualize the commitments laid out in the Declaration. Meridian brings them together to talk about their successes and challenges in building their national sustainable palm oil programs, fostering a sense of mutual accountability in their shared pursuit of forest-friendly economic development.