About Our Organization

Avoided Deforestation Partners, a not-for-profit project under the fiscal sponsorship of the Social Good Fund, a 501-(c)(3). Our project was founded in March of 2007 by Jeff Horowitz and a group of internationally recognized tropical forest protection advocates, (see founding partners bios). Horowitz understood that deforestation was a global problem that would require the participation of all sectors of society to solve. Thus the idea that bringing together a broad cross-section of “partners” is essential when tackling the enormous challenges of “avoiding deforestation.”

The AD Partners “all hands on deck” philosophy has led it to become one of the most influential forest-climate policy organizations in the US and internationally. AD Partners has helped shape forest protection policies by convening high-level decision makers and policy experts from government, business and civil society. AD Partners advocates consensus strategies and convenes meetings in Washington D.C., at the United Nation’s major climate change conferences, the World Bank, and among important private sector industry leaders.

To date, AD Partners has played important roles in supporting and advancing key initiatives, including: the U.S. Government’s recent $1 billion pledge to protect tropical forests; facilitating the landmark “Tropical Forest and Climate Unity Agreement” which resulted in stronger US Government forest-climate policies; and helping to advance “REDD,” the UN-proposed international mechanism for “reducing emissions from deforestation and degradation.”

Most recently, AD Partners has been working with The Consumer Goods Forum (CGF). The CGF is a global association of more than 400 leading retail and consumer goods companies whose combined revenues represent over US $3 trillion – some 4% of the global GDP. CGF’s members are committed to eliminate deforestation practices from all of their products by the year 2020. AD Partners is helping to make this pledge a reality by engaging all of the sectors critical to its success. We are convening meetings between the CGF, and the U.S. government and prominent institutions in an effort to move collectively to a world that embraces sustainable, deforestation-free agricultural practices.

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U.S. Senator John Kerry speaks at one of ADP's congressional briefings. UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner and South Africa’s Minister of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries Tina Joemat-Pettersson discuss sustainable agriculture during ADP’s Cop17 event.

Vision Statement

The adoption of universal sustainable, deforestation-free agricultural practices to significantly reduce tropical deforestation and degradation, improve the quality of life for forest-dependent communities, preserve biodiversity, protect wildlife, enhancing global security and mitigate carbon pollution.

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If we don’t protect our forests, we can’t protect our climate.

Mission Statement

Avoided Deforestation Partners is a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing U.S. and international forest and climate protection initiatives. We convene public, private and civil society leaders to inspire decision makers to promote sustainable agricultural practices that are free of deforestation.

We strive to achieve our mission by:

  1. Creating links among public, private and civil society sectors to promote the latest thinking and best practices that support avoided deforestation policies and private sector initiatives.
  2. Catalyzing new thinking about policies and private sector initiatives to address deforestation, including commissioning research and organizing workshops.
  3. Convening policy forums and business leadership discussions that facilitate the involvement of local, regional, national and international players to promote holistic solutions that reduce deforestation and land degradation.
  4. Raising the profile of the deforestation issue and the potential support role of the business community by hosting events, publishing mainstream media articles, and organizing and participating in conferences and public hearings.
  5. Building connections among global organizations to encourage collaboration, coordination and financial support for international efforts to reduce deforestation.
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ADP is honored to have had Nobel Peace Prize laureate Wangari Maathai as our dear friend and partner. ADP facilitates meeting between CA Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Dr. Goodall about international forest protection. Paul Polman: CEO Unilever

Our Approach

Avoided Deforestation Partners brings together key voices in the resource conservation discussion including NGOs, business leaders, governments, scientists and representatives of forest communities. Our goal is to help advance both private and public initiatives that will effectively protect the world’s remaining tropical forests, ensure sustainable, deforestation-free agricultural practices and thereby significantly reduce carbon emissions.

We believe that dramatic reductions in deforestation can be achieved in developing countries by:

  1. Advancing environmental effectiveness and integrity. Policy and business leadership initiatives must result in real and verifiable reductions in deforestation, which in turn will also decrease greenhouse gas emissions.
  2. Leverage private sector funding. Given the scale of the problem and significant amount of funding needed to meaningfully reduce emissions from deforestation, AD Partners recognizes that private sector engagement is crucial to provide the necessary transformation.
  3. Use of market and non-market mechanisms. The carbon market can be an efficient policy instrument for engaging the private sector and effectively reducing global emissions cost. The use of effective market mechanisms should therefore be encouraged. We also support the use of non-market mechanisms which can, among other things, provide additional incentives and help build capacity in developing countries to reduce deforestation.
  4. Promoting sustainable business practices. Given the hurdles of top-down policy making, AD Partners strongly advocates the role of the business community in calling for a re-examination of their supply chains as they pertain to reducing deforestation.
  5. Consider practicality. Policies and business practices to reduce emissions from deforestation must be practical. They must create workable incentives for governments, NGOs, indigenous groups and the private sector to become engaged and effectively protect forests over the long term.
  6. Respect indigenous people. The rights of indigenous peoples and other forest dependent communities must be respected. These groups should be engaged, and should also be the principal beneficiaries of financial incentives to reduce deforestation.
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Without supporting communities we cannot move our collective agenda.

Founding Partners

Jeff Horowitz is ADP’s Founding Partner and principle force behind the organization’s creation and activities. Read more.

Dr. Charlotte Streck is ADP’s original co-founder. Read more.

Rick Saines is a partner at Baker & McKenzie in Chicago. Read more.

Toby Janson-Smith leads the VCS’s Agriculture, Forestry & Other Land Use (AFOLU) program and team…Read more.

Robert O’Sullivan is currently the task lead for Finance and Carbon Markets at USAID. Read more.

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