Creating resilient, thriving communities and ecosystems

We’re working with our members and other stakeholders to create resilient, thriving communities and ecosystems in key priority landscapes which are under threat from expanding agriculture.

True supply chain transformation will not happen by changing one commodity, one company and one issue at a time. Guided by 19 years’ experience, TFT’s approach to transforming landscapes is about scaling up the impact of our work by supporting existing land-use planning processes being run by key stakeholders, especially governments, and by creating partnerships and employing innovative tools to address shared challenges. A key part of the work is designing and realising plans with both the free, prior and informed consent and full participation of local communities.

In 2016, TFT began work in several priority areas in Indonesia, under the programme’s Bahasa name, Areal Prioritas Transformasi, or APTs. Two of them overlap with the Leuser ecosystem, known as the last place on earth where rhinos, elephants, tigers and orangutans co-exist.


The Areal Prioritas Transformasi programme in Indonesia (Areas for Priority Transformation, or “APT”) began in early 2016. It is being piloted in geographies in Indonesia that are experiencing high levels of encroachment on natural areas, deforestation, peat drainage, land conflicts and labour rights issues. Initial work in these areas is in the palm oil sector, which is both a key driver of economic development and of concerns over deforestation and exploitation in the country. The programme will build on the knowledge derived through TFT’s Aggregated Refinery Transformation (ART) Plans implemented with its palm oil members.

These pilot areas include two regions that abut the Leuser Ecosystem, the last place on earth where orangutans, tigers, elephants and rhinoceroses still co-exist and a UNESCO World Heritage site. Riau, home to over 600,000 ha of peat swamp and a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, is also a pilot area. Beginning in 2017, exploratory work is being done in a fourth area, Kalimantan, a biodiversity hotspot where there are multiple conflicts between local communities and palm oil plantations.

TFT’s aim in Indonesia is to contribute to existing, government-led land use planning activities using our unique set of tools and techniques and our ability to coordinate with major palm oil players who have committed to no deforestation and no exploitation in their supply chains. Our approach is to be:

  • Collaborative: No one can do it alone. Leadership from governments, commitment and support from brands and producers, expertise and advocacy from civil society and local knowledge, implementation and monitoring from communities all play a role. TFT provides tools, techniques and coordination to guide the process.
  • Specific: TFT will engage deeply with a selected number of suppliers to find long-term solutions and strategies to address their ongoing challenges in a way tailored to their unique situation. These techniques, and lessons learned from deep engagement, can then be used by others facing similar problems.
  • Scalable: Scale-up will be critical for real transformation. To speed impact beyond the deep-engagement of suppliers to the industry as a whole, TFT will distribute self-assessment tools, tested solutions, and online support to address issues and accelerate transformation.


In Peru, the Landscape Programme will initiate work in 2017, focusing on the Amazon rain forest in the northern part of the country. Although deforestation rates in Peru have been relatively low compared to its Amazonian neighbours, the expansion of palm oil and cacao production has recently emerged as a serious threat to forest ecosystems, indigenous community resource rights, and responsible labour practices in the Peruvian Amazon. TFT’s staff in the region will conduct the research necessary to chose an initial priority pilot landscape from several potential opportunities that TFT has identified in its preparatory phase for this work.


Want to know more

Rob McWilliam, Head of Landscapes
+41 (0) 22 367 94 40