Deforestation Action Tracker: FAQs

deforestation image Pok Rie / Pexels

Since then, 38 financial institutions have also committed to use ‘best efforts’ to eliminate commodity-driven deforestation from their portfolios by 2025 and have now formed the Finance Sector Deforestation Action (FSDA) to work together towards this target.

The need to address the climate risks from deforestation is critical, and the leaders of GFANZ have urged signatories to act on deforestation.

Global Canopy’s Deforestation Action Tracker monitors the financial institutions that have made significant climate commitments, including those in Race to Zero and GFANZ, and tracks their action on deforestation and associated human rights abuses.

In the first year of the Tracker, we conducted a review of the 557 financial institutions to create a baseline. Our 2023 Deforestation Action Tracker assessed 713 financial institutions, providing an essential stocktake of finance sector action on deforestation.

The Deforestation Action Tracker 2023: an essential stocktake of finance sector action on deforestation assesses and scores more than 700 financial institutions on their action on deforestation, conversion and associated human rights abuses. It also provides recommendations to GFANZ and net-zero initiatives and to financial institutions in order to make progress, faster.


When will the 2023 Deforestation Action Tracker assessments become available?

The 2023 assessments were made public on  27 November 2023, a year after the Deforestation Action Tracker baseline review was launched. 2023 is the first year of full assessments, and shows where progress has been made and where improvements are still needed.

How were the financial institutions selected to be included in the Deforestation Action Tracker?

In 2022, 557 financial institutions were selected to be included as they had made significant climate commitments, including through Race to Zero and GFANZ.

In 2023, the number of financial institutions that are members of these two initiatives has increased, and financial institutions that were previously members of these initiatives continue to be included in the Deforestation Action Tracker. This means that 713 financial institutions were assessed. 

When were the 2023 assessments conducted?

The 2023 Deforestation Action Tracker assessments were carried out between 19 May and 31 August 2023, using publicly available information published on the financial institutions’ websites.

How do you define deforestation and conversion?

Global Canopy uses the definitions of deforestation (including zero-net and zero-gross deforestation) and conversion (including zero-net and zero-gross conversion) as defined by the Accountability Framework Initiative. While deforestation specifically refers to the loss of natural forests, conversion extends to any change from a natural ecosystem to any other land use. The full definitions used can be found on the Accountability Framework Initiative website.

How does the Deforestation Action Tracker differ from the Forest 500?

The Deforestation Action Tracker and Forest 500 are both Global Canopy projects.

The Deforestation Action Tracker tracks financial institutions with high-profile net-zero commitments on their action on deforestation and human rights abuses in their portfolios. The 2022 baseline review identified that many institutions were stuck in the starting blocks, and Global Canopy promised more detailed assessments in 2023 to monitor progress towards eliminating deforestation. These used the established Forest 500 financial institution assessment methodology that has been strengthened and refined over the past ten years, and aligned with the Finance Sector Roadmap which defines the best practice for financial institutions on deforestation, conversion, and associated human rights abuses. This year’s assessments included four key sections in its methodology; (i) overall approach including deforestation action at the board level, (ii) strength of financial institutions’ publicly available deforestation and traceability policies covering their financing, (iii) strength of policies on human rights abuses that often precede or accompany deforestation, (iv) reporting and implementation processes.

Forest 500 identifies the 350 companies and 150 financial institutions with the greatest exposure to tropical deforestation risk, and assesses them on the strength and implementation of their policies on deforestation and associated human rights. All 500 companies and financial institutions are given a numerical score out of 100.

Some of the financial institutions included in the Deforestation Action Tracker are also included in the Forest 500 due to their high exposure to deforestation risk.

Who funds Deforestation Action Tracker?

In 2022, this project was financially supported by Nature4Climate, Norad, Conservation International, and UNDP.

In 2023, the project was financially supported by Nature4Climate and Norad.

The views expressed in the Deforestation Action Tracker reports and associated materials  do not necessarily reflect the views of funding organisations.

How can I get in touch with the Deforestation Action Tracker team?

If you have any questions on the Deforestation Action Tracker, or our methodologies in general please email the Deforestation Action Tracker team at: [email protected]

If you have a press enquiry, please go to our press room.

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