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Meridian Institute

Supply Chain Sustainability Research Fund

Related: Agriculture and Food Systems, Climate Change, Environment and Natural Resources

Meridian Institute, with support from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, is coordinating research efforts to increase the collective understanding of outcomes associated with market-based approaches to conservation, including corporate sustainability commitments, certification and standards, and finance sector strategies. To guide this process, Meridian convened a multidisciplinary group of experts to establish a joint research agenda and facilitated three parallel work groups to develop theories of change that articulate how these approaches are anticipated to lead to conservation outcomes. Through this process, the work groups identified underlying assumptions, delineated knowledge gaps, and identified future research priorities, ultimately resulting in a first phase of research, including six specific research projects completed in summer 2018.

The research activities include, for example, synthesizing the current state of knowledge around key market-based interventions, and in-depth analyses of specific systems, such as the effectiveness of supply chain commitments on beef and soy in South America and the impacts of specific forest and agriculture certification systems. Meridian will coordinate with research teams and work group members to broadly communicate research findings to end users and decision makers, including the private sector, non-governmental organizations, thought leaders, policy makers, and others.

The second phase of research, supported by the Walmart Foundation, will provide opportunities to pursue additional collaborative research to continue to expand the knowledge base and clearly communicate how market-based approaches impact conservation outcomes.