COP22: Harnessing the power of data for a deforestation-free economy

An EU side event on global supply-chain transparency showcased an innovative data platform called Trase (Transparency for Sustainable Economies) at COP22 in Marrakech on 9 November.

Trase utilises huge untapped datasets to see inside complex global commodity supply chains. It reveals the links between production landscapes and specific traders, manufacturers, retailers and investors worldwide. As an end-goal, Trase aims to help build the cross-sectoral alliances needed to deliver a deforestation-free economy.

The side event explored how increased transparency of supply chains can catalyse improvements in investment, procurement and production practices as well as strategic development planning by governments and sub-national jurisdictions.

Private-sector and government representatives discussed the potential for Trase to create an unprecedented ‘openness’ of supply chains at scale. They said Trase could enable private sector, government and other stakeholders to access a new detailed level of analysis of supply-chains, helping them to understand complex trade connections and impacts. This information can equip actors in the supply chain to better identify and engage with their trade partners.

Private sector representatives said that using Trase as a diagnostics tool could help them to develop tailored strategies that are adapted to different sourcing areas. This would facilitate partnerships and dialogue with other actors on developing strategies to improve supply-chain sustainability. Government representatives emphasised the role that Trase can play in making large-scale, sector-wide improvements. They identified gaps and critical areas for improvement including specific sourcing areas and actors that are both associated with significant impacts and that are preventing systemic change. 

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