Environmental protection is crucial to ensure the sustainability of our planet and the well-being of all living beings. It helps to preserve natural resources, maintain ecological balance, and prevent the negative impacts of human activities on the environment. Fairtrade, hence, incorporates guidelines for environmental protection and development within the production setting, particularly focusing on biodiversity conservation and nature preservation. It mandates that farmers and producers adhere to specific practices to safeguard biodiversity. These practices include possessing knowledge about the conservation status of their land and refraining from deforestation and vegetation destruction in carbon storage ecosystems or protected areas among others.
To ensure compliance, Fairtrade emphasizes that farmers follow certain Fairtrade Standards such as preventing detrimental impacts on protected areas (Fairtrade Standard 3.2.30), maintaining buffer zones (3.2.34), prohibiting deforestation and vegetation destruction in carbon storage ecosystems and protected areas (3.2.31) among others. However, it was noticed that several Indonesian Small Producer Organizations (SPOs) have struggled to meet these requirements independently.
Recognizing this, Fairtrade NAPP has organized a two-part webinar series to disseminate knowledge about Fairtrade Standards under the section of Biodiversity and discuss the organizational assessment to create action plans for their organization. This webinar series was attended by key stakeholders in the Fairtrade Indonesian SPOs such as the delegations, the internal extensionists or any important figure members. These individuals are thus equipped to spread the gained awareness and knowledge to other members and implement the necessary measures to support compliance with the Fairtrade Standard’s biodiversity-related guidelines.
Dr Angga Dwiartama, the Dean of Resource Affairs and a Lecturer on Bio-management at the School of Life Sciences and Technology, Bandung Institute of Technology, was invited to the webinar to discuss the following objective:
- Understanding the concept of biodiversity and different levels of land conservation status, including the definitions of protected areas, high conservation value areas, and carbon storage ecosystems.
- Exploring the negative impacts of destruction on protected areas and in areas with high conservation value or carbon storage ecosystems with specific examples such as deforestation and vegetation degradation.
- Examining activities that can have detrimental effects on protected areas, high conservation value areas, and carbon storage ecosystems.
- Assessing the ways to identify protected areas, high conservation value areas, and carbon storage ecosystems through understanding governmental policies, governance structures, and relevant information.
- Developing organizational measures to ensure that Fairtrade SPOs and their farmers avoid deforestation and vegetation degradation, including techniques such as mapping at-risk areas, participatory self-identification of negative impacts, raising awareness among members, promoting positive production practices, establishing regulations for activities in at-risk areas, and implementing internal monitoring systems with appropriate sanctions.
- Implementing measures to enhance biodiversity within the SPOs and their areas of operation.
- Identifying and maintaining buffer zone areas for conservation purposes.
- Understanding the conservation categories of species and learning how to identify such species within their respective areas.
- Defining invasive alien species and the importance of preventing their introduction and spread within SPO areas.
The first session of the webinar on the Fairtrade Environmental Standard: Biodiversity and Nature Protection was attended by 24 representatives from 20 SPOs, who aimed to leverage the knowledge gained for their respective organizations. The webinar had an immediate impact on the participants as they are more aware and have a better understanding of the importance of biodiversity and nature protection. They also gained insight into the specific requirements outlined by Fairtrade NAPP that they need to implement within their respective organizations. This newfound knowledge equipped them with the necessary tools to contribute effectively to biodiversity conservation and nature preservation efforts. To ensure continued progress, the second webinar is planned.
30 representatives from 22 SPOs participated in the 2nd webinar session where they presented their own organizational assessment to create action plans for their organization based on the knowledge acquired in the 1st webinar. Dr Angga Dwiartama facilitated this webinar by providing valuable insights to the participants on their organizational assessments. This session provided an opportunity for participants to share their findings and exchange ideas on developing action plans for enhancing and protecting biodiversity within their organizations. By engaging in these discussions, the participants would be able to collaborate, learn from one another, and foster a collective commitment to sustainable environmental practices.
Participants in the webinar sessions have gained valuable knowledge and insights that enable them to create action plans at the organizational level. Equipped with a better understanding of biodiversity conservation and nature protection, they are now empowered to develop strategies that align with Fairtrade Standards and promote sustainable environmental practices. These action plans serve as roadmaps for implementing measures such as mapping at-risk areas, raising awareness among members, promoting positive production practices, and developing regulations to prevent deforestation and vegetation destruction.
Furthermore, the participants are now equipped with the necessary tools to monitor the progress and effectiveness of their action plans. Through internal monitoring mechanisms, they can regularly assess their organizational practices, identify areas for improvement, and ensure compliance with Fairtrade guidelines. This monitoring process enables them to track their performance, adjust as needed, and ultimately contribute to the preservation and enhancement of biodiversity within their respective organizations.
Overall, the webinar series served as a catalyst for greater awareness, understanding, and proactive action in the realm of biodiversity and nature protection. With guided and monitored action plans, the participating SPOs are better positioned to make a tangible impact on environmental sustainability and contribute to the larger goal of protecting our planet’s natural resources.
“We appreciate the organization of biodiversity webinar, the knowledge is insightful and provides guidance for further implementation of biodiversity protection efforts in our cooperative. We have been incorporating the guidance into our IMS policy, in particular in the efforts of protecting the areas of water springs through the protection and planting vegetation that hold water. We are now proactively identifying the vegetation and animal species in our members’ areas and surroundings and also increasing our members’ awareness about the efforts of biodiversity protection and enhancement through various educational tools and media” – Suprapti, Koperasi Manunggal Adil Sejahtera