Sustainable Production of Forest-risk Commodities: Governance and Disarticulations

Izabela Delabre*, Callum Nolan, Kristjan Jespersen, Caleb Gallemore, Anthony Alexander

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapterResearchpeer-review


Increased awareness of ‘telecouplings’ between distant producer and consumer systems, through new forms of information exchange, has led to changes in how production systems are governed in relation to sustainability, including through private-sector led and hybrid governance initiatives. This chapter examines the complexities of implementing private-sector-led ‘zero-deforestation’ commitments, which promise to eliminate deforestation from the supply chains of the commodities that companies produce, trade, and/or source. Using the concept of ‘disarticulations,’ this chapter brings an analysis of global production networks into conversation with critical political economy’s emphasis on discourse and knowledge production. We discuss dominant, mainstream discourses prevalent in zero-deforestation governance, including notions that: (i) Implementing zero-deforestation is highly technical and requires the expertise of consultants and third parties; (ii) All supply chain actors have responsibility for zero-deforestation; (iii) The need for data and technologies for governing deforestation; (iv) Jurisdictional approaches provide joined up governance for zero-deforestation. Examining these discourses helps us to understand some of the complexities in the implementation of ‘zero-deforestation’ commitments, how socio-economic processes in global production are linked or delinked, and how people can be connected to or excluded from these chains. Finally, we reflect on opportunities for research and practice in shifting toward sustainable production and consumption of deforestation-risk commodities, and the importance of considering how power relations and knowledge politics shape production networks.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSustainable Consumption and Production : Volume I. Challenges and Development
EditorsRanjula Bali Swain, Susanne Sweet
Number of pages18
Place of PublicationCham
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Publication date2021
ISBN (Print)9783030563707
ISBN (Electronic)9783030563714
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Zero deforestation
  • Governance
  • Disarticulations
  • Power
  • Knowledge politics

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