Invited by the State Forestry and Grassland Administration (SFGA) and the British Embassy, Prof. Yonggong Liu, DCZ Agribusiness Cooperation Advisor, attended the “High Level Consultation Workshop on Transition toward Sustainable Supply Chain for Agricultural and Forestry Products and Virtual Meeting on Share Experiences with UK Global Resource Initiatives (GRI)” on 25 February 2021.
30 Chinese experts from the Regional Economic Research Institute, Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM), Center for International Forest Product Trade, SFGA, Tongji University, China Agricultural University, WWF, UK China Cooperation Projects on International Forest Investment and Trade (InFIT) and Forestry Governance, Market and Climate (FGMC) and 6 experts from UK GRI participated in the workshop.
The hybrid consultation workshop with online and on-site participants focused on issues and challenges of deforestation, forestland conversion and biodiversity degradations caused by the international trade of bulk agricultural and forestry products, particularly cacao, beef, soybean, palm oil and beef. The discussion focused on Chinese institutions, policies and technical standards and enforcement capacity to establish a green and sustainable agro-forestry value chain and industry system that will support achieving the goal of SDG 2030 and fulfill China’s obligations to the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. Experts made recommendations on: (i) how to construct and operationalize a traceability system for ensuring green production and consumption of agro-forestry products in China; (ii) Development and adoption of technical standards, labeling and certification system for green production and consumption; (iii) Studies on the impacts of international agro-forestry product trade on biodiversity conservation at the production origin; (iv) Strategic route for establishing a sustainable supply chain for agro-forestry products in China in a global trade context.
In the virtual session, experts from UK GRI Taskforces and relevant consulting companies presented and shared the GRI organizational structure, thematic taskforces with specific tasks on green finance, trade policy, monitoring and business dialogue. UK colleagues also presented 14 recommendations for achieving green and sustainable supply and consumption of agro-forestry products in a global context, such as mandatory due diligence obligation by producers, change of consumption patterns, green finance initiative to support the transition to sustainable supply and production, stronger partnership and collective actions with trade partner countries, development of technical standards, monitoring and reporting system, etc. Chinese experts commented on the GRI experiences and recommendations.