Jurisdictional Sourcing

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Jurisdictional sourcing – a jurisdiction-wide approach to commodity sourcing – has the potential to transform our commodity supply chains: reducing the cost of sustainability sourcing for companies, and opening new markets for small-scale farmers and indigenous communities.Although other initiatives have had impact to some extent in solving environmental issues, jurisdictional approaches seek to facilitate a consensus among different people, governments and the private sector for sustainable rural development within a jurisdiction. Jurisdictions, or government administrative areas, are selected on the basis of whether they have the authority to address the challenges associated with sustainable rural development.

Jurisdictional sourcing is where buyers and consumer goods companies choose where they source their commodities from based on a range of sustainability indicators and production data. Sustainability indicators could include environmental indicators (e.g. rates of deforestation or greenhouse gas emissions), or social indicators such (e.g. social conflicts, extent to which indigenous rights are recognised and/or protected). Sustainability indicators also include certification standards, such as the Indonesia Sustainable Palm Oil (ISPO) standard, and the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO). Companies can then choose to source the commodities they need from jurisdictions who are performing to their standards, or the standards that their consumers are demanding.


The advantages of jurisdictional sourcing include reducing the costs and effort of sustainably sourcing commodities. The unit of traceability is moved from farms and plantations to the entire jurisdiction. This saves costs and shifts much of the burden for monitoring and compliance to local governments. When companies source commodities from jurisdictions, they only need to choose those jurisdictions who are meeting their standards, or, otherwise, contribute to improving the sustainability of jurisdiction.

Sourcing from sustainable jurisdictions begins with jurisdictional sustainability commitments and programs in commodity-producing districts, villages and communities. As an archipelagic nation, all of Indonesia’s provinces must contend with the sustainable management of natural resources from the land and sea. Within each jurisdiction, society and government not only have to manage one commodity supply chain, but will often have multiple along with land and marine uses intended for local consumption and subsistence. Finding solutions for jurisdictional sustainability means addressing these competing uses of the land and water, the conservation of the natural environment and improving the well-being of the people who live and work there. Government, civil society, the private sector and communities must work together to make informed decisions about the economic development of the jurisdiction.

To learn more, visit our sister institution Earth Innovation’s Produce and Protect platform, or download our Jurisdictional Approach brief for more on the concept of protecting the environment while enhancing livelihoods at jurisdictional scale.

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