Media Statement: More industry ambition needed on sustainable natural rubber after underwhelming conclusion to 15 months of negotiations

Media Statement: More industry ambition needed on sustainable natural rubber after underwhelming conclusion to 15 months of negotiations

Sydney Jones

Press Secretary

[email protected]

Carole Mitchell

Sr. Director Communications

[email protected]

 

Deforestation for rubber in Ratanakiri, Cambodia Source: Mighty Earth

October 25, 2023

Today, members of the Global Platform for Sustainable Natural Rubber (GPSNR) voted to approve two key resolutions at the annual General Assembly. One of these motions saw companies agree to develop a system for monitoring compliance with their commitments to cut out deforestation, human rights abuses and land grabbing from their natural rubber supply chains. The other secured agreement for companies to provide greater public information about their progress towards delivering on these commitments. 

Although important, the former was similar to a resolution agreeing to develop such a system agreed by the Platform 15 months ago; while the latter stopped short of promising full transparency, especially by tire manufacturers and automakers. 

Mighty Earth Senior Director for Africa, Julian Oram, who was voted to serve as the new civil society representative on the Executive Committee for a period of three years, said:  

“Today’s resolutions were an underwhelming conclusion to 15 months of discussions since the last General Assembly in July, 2022. We continue to see resistance by some tire manufacturers and automakers to supply chain transparency and public reporting, as well as attempts to slow down the establishment of a robust due diligence and monitoring system. Meanwhile, forests continue to fall and rubber farmers continue to experience crippling poverty, while tire companies reap record earnings.  

“This week we’ve seen new scientific evidence reveal that the scale of deforestation for rubber in Southeast Asia has been far worse than previously estimated. This should serve as a stark reminder that every day is precious for the industry to collectively improve the traceability of rubber supply chains, establish a robust independent monitoring system, and provide public transparency on progress towards their commitments on sustainable natural rubber. There is also an underlying need to address the exploitative relations between those at the bottom versus those at the top of the rubber supply chain.”  

“We’re grateful to our colleagues for electing Mighty Earth as one of the civil society representatives on the Executive Committee. We will use the opportunity to push for rapid progress to be made on the key issues between now and the next Extraordinary General Assembly taking place in June of 2024.” 

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