Green Commodities Programme

Why the Green Commodities Programme?


Agricultural commodities are the bedrock of most rural developing economies, contributing to livelihoods, food security and poverty reduction. Yet agricultural production - the vast majority of which is carried out by smallholders - is threatened by climate change, water scarcity, competition for arable land and ecosystem degradation.


UNDP supports governments to promote policy and legislation reform in the agriculture sectorCosta Rica accounts for 35% of global pineapple production UNDP works to support Ghana's cocoa farmers to improve sustainabilityPalm oil is a major driver of deforestation in IndonesiaUNDP is working to improve the lives of coffee smallholders Indonesia is the world's largest producer and exporter of palm oilUNDP aims to foster sustainable and deforestation-free coffee production


In fact, the largest driver of deforestation is the production of agricultural commodities, such as palm oil, beef, soy, cocoa and coffee. In addition, poor farming practices and a lack of investment in the sector mean that sustainable and equitable development for farmers remains elusive.


What is the Green Commodities Programme?

In response, UNDP established the Green Commodities Programme (GCP) in 2009 to improve the national economic, social and environmental performance of agricultural commodity sectors. GCP works to improve rural livelihoods, mitigate climate change, and maintain the ecosystem services and resilience of landscapes and seascapes.

By targeting agricultural commodities that have high economic and political national relevance and are part of aggregated supply chains, GCP optimizes the potential of public-private partnerships (PPPs) to support long-term sustainable change.


What does the Green Commodities Programme aim to achieve?

GCP partners with the UN, government, private sector and civil society to strengthen the national enabling environments of these key agricultural commodity sectors by promoting:

  • Improved national and sub-national extension systems
  • Policy/legislation reform and enforcement in agricultural land use
  • Improved economic incentives for sustainable production
  • Intra- and inter-sector coordination

In recognition of the importance of global agricultural commodities and their cross-cutting impact on the Sustainable Development Goals, GCP aims by 2020 to contribute to enabling eight million farmers, managing 20 million hectares, to improve the sustainability of their practices and their livelihoods.


How will the Green Commodities Programme achieve its goals?

UNDP is seen as a neutral broker and a leader in delivering multi-stakeholder collaboration. As such, key GCP strategies include:  

  • National Commodity Platforms (NCPs) – to institutionalize the long-term sustainability performance of agricultural commodities at a national level;
  • National PPPs – to address the root causes of the negative environmental, social and economic impacts of commodities;
  • Technical services – to provide global technical advice related to policy reform, national extensions systems, agricultural commodity supply chains and REDD+;
  • Learning from action – to broker knowledge sharing opportunities between UNDP practitioners aiming to improve agricultural commodity supply chains worldwide;
  • Global engagement and dialogue – to develop key relationships with partners, especially the private sector and governments.


UNDP and Solidaridad partnership to improve palm oil sustainbility in Indonesian provinces

In an effort to improve sustainability within Indonesia’s palm oil supply chain, global not for profit Solidaridad and the UNDP announced in July a new partnership to support the launch of the Indonesia Palm Oil Platform (InPOP) in several key district provinces. More

Sustainable agriculture key to green growth and reducing poverty

The Financing for Development summit in Addis is a decisive point in the process towards the post-2015 development agenda. World leaders, high-level policy makers, funders and finance ministers, among others, are expected to deliver the political will, policy reforms, and financial investments required to end extreme poverty by 2030. Agriculture and nutrition is one of the four key focus areas at the summit, along with sustainable infrastructure, social protection and technology. More

Dominican Republic commits to strengthening cocoa sector for 40,000 farmers

In a landmark agreement signed by the Government of the Dominican Republic (GoDR), the National Cocoa Commission (NCC) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Dominican Republic has committed to strengthening the sustainability of the cocoa sector, that directly employs 40,000 farmers and provides indirect employment to an additional 350,000 people across this Caribbean nation. More

Indonesian Sustainable Palm Oil Initiative

[Source: Bloomberg TV Indonesia] Interview of Andrew Bovarnick, global head of UNDP's Green Commodities Programme on Bloomberg TV Indonesia on the Sustainable Palm Oil Initiative.   

Mitigating the environmental damage caused by palm oil

[Source: Bloomberg] Andrew Bovarnick discusses UNDP's palm oil initiative in Asia. He speaks with Bloomberg's Rishaad Salamat on "Trending Business".