Reducing forest footprints

2012 - 2016

The Reducing Forest Footprints project aimed to reduce incentives for deforestation and the forest footprint of agricultural commodities.

A batch of palm oil fruit bunches in Borneo. Demand for palm oil is set to double by 2030. (Photo: Rainforest Action Network)

Global demand for food, wood products, biofuels and other agricultural products drives the majority of deforestation and forest degradation.

The Reducing Forest Footprints project focused on finding ways to increase the relevance, effectiveness and uptake of measures to reduce deforestation. These include legislative, public sector, private sector and consumer measures. Initiatives were analysed to learn lessons about how to increase the demand for 'deforestation-free' commodities in a way that benefits small-scale enterprises and promotes sustainable development outcomes. 

What did IIED do?

In February 2013, IIED held an international meeting in partnership with the Global Canopy Programme and the Prince's Rainforests Project to develop a collaborative assessment of demand-side interventions for addressing the major commodity drivers of deforestation. This built on an initial analysis of the various demand-side initiatives that aim to reduce deforestation and thereby impact on forest governance

Next, IIED and Development Associates Limited (DASS) undertook a scoping study in Kenya and Tanzania to identify potential demand-side measures to curb deforestation and degradation.

In February 2014, a workshop was held in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, to share these findings. The objectives of the workshop were to increase participants' understanding of existing and potential demand-side measures for the reduction of deforestation caused by agricultural and forest commodities, and to identify opportunities for further action that would enhance these demand-side measures in a way that contributes towards security of supply, markets and tenure.


Exploring demand-side measures for the reduction of deforestation in Kenya and Tanzania, Simon Milledge (2015), IIED Report

Reducing 'forest footprints': tackling demand for forest-risk commodities, Nathalie Walker, Sabrina Patel, Frances Davis, Simon Milledge, James Hulse, Edward Davey (2013), IIED Briefing Paper

Cutting 'demand-driven' deforestation, Simon Milledge (2013), IIED Backgrounder 

Demand-side measures to reduce deforestation, Nathalie Walker, Sabrina Patel, Frances Davis, Simon Milledge, James Hulse (2013), IIED Report

Additional resources

Blog: How the G8 summit could help in limiting deforestation, by Simon Milledge (2013), Guardian newspaper


UK Department for International Development


Global Canopy Programme (GCP)

Prince's Rainforests Project

Chatham House

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