The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) has formally joined the Accountability Framework Initiative (AFi) as a supporting partner.

AFi is a collaborative effort to build and scale ethical supply chains for agriculture and forestry products. The coalition consists of a diverse group of environmental and human rights organizations working to create a “new normal” where commodity production and supply chains protect natural ecosystems and human rights. The Accountability Framework provides a set of norms and guidance to help companies commit to supply chains that are free from deforestation, conversion, and human rights violations.

By joining the coalition, WCS extends its efforts to urgently target investment and attention towards the frontiers of the world’s at-risk forests. WCS’s ‘Forest First’ approach provides the scientific and economic cases for the private and public sector to target emerging deforestation threats before they become embedded in supply chains, and in line with AFi’s focus on human rights, emphasizes the importance of supporting the leadership and engagement of smallholder farmers, indigenous peoples and local communities to ensure the effectiveness of this work.

As a supporting member of AFi, WCS will contribute to guidance on the protection of forests and integrate perspectives from WCS’s work in over sixty countries.

“Protecting intact forests is the most impactful and cost-effective strategy for mitigating the climate crisis, protecting biodiversity, and avoiding future zoonotic disease outbreaks, like COVID-19,” said Matt Leggett, WCS’s Associate Director of Sustainable Commodities and Private Sector Engagement. “The guidance provided by the Accountability Framework allows companies to take effective action toward these outcomes, in a way that is ethical for both human communities and for nature and we look forward supporting and scaling up the work of the coalition.”

To learn more about the Accountability Framework Initiative, visit:

To learn more about WCS’s Forest First Approach, visit: