“The platform will be independently managed and is being purposefully shaped through the collaboration of businesses and NGOs,” according to Gavin Whitmore, communication manager, TIP, WBCSD.
Part of structure proposed by WBCSD Tire Industry Project. Committee activities will be overseen by a general assembly of the membership community.
Stakeholders are continuing to meet to finalise operational details, including that of governance ahead of the ‘operational launch’ of the platform in March 2019, Whitmore added in a written statement to ERJ.
“All natural rubber stakeholder groups will have a vote and voting-weight will reflect stakeholder ownership, expertise and capacity to implement meaningful change,” he added. “TIP is looking to the GPSNR to achieve real change in the natural rubber supply chain.
“The experience of other platforms has demonstrated success is best achieved where voting weight reflects stakeholder ownership, expertise and capacity to implement meaningful change.”
NGOs, however, have accused the tire industry of having too much control over the platform. They have argued for a platform voting-system, comprising 50% value-chain industry actors, and 50% small farmer representatives, NGOs, academia and other non-value-chain stakeholders.
As one NGO stated: “Standards have to be developed jointly and agreed mutually for the rubber industry to genuinely address its serious impacts on local communities and the environment in the tropics.”
But now after months of dispute, a deal has been brokered by an independent facilitator during a late-November ‘workshop’ in Geneva, according to a spokeswoman for Mighty Earthy.
Arising from this was a new draft governance structure for the GPSNR, Liviya James of the environmental campaign group said in a written statement to ERJ.
“This gives NGOs an equal seat at the table of the key decision-making body… and divides voting rights more equitably within the general assembly,” James reported.
“Although nothing is finalised yet, and there are still issues to be resolved, we are greatly encouraged by the movement towards a more progressive architecture for the platform,” she added.
Mighty Earth believes that this would ensure “a more solid foundation for the co-creation of highly ambitious sustainability standards for the natural rubber industry.”