SINGAPORE — Stakeholders in the global natural rubber supply network have "aligned on a governance structure" for the Global Platform for Sustainable Natural Rubber (GPSNR), the tire industry-led initiative said Feb. 5.
The GPSNR was formed as an independent platform to drive improvements in the socio-economic and environmental performance of the natural rubber value chain.
Over recent months, however, environmental non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have argued that the level of control held by tire manufacturers in the GPSNR would undermine its effectiveness.
Agreement, though, has now been reached on "a multi-stakeholder governance structure that includes a greater share of voting weight for 'civil society' members," the organization said.
This follows a Jan. 22-23 "workshop" by founder members and other stakeholders in Singapore, and another in Geneva last November.
"We've seen compromise from all parties," GPSNR Director Stefano Savi reported after the most recent meeting.
"There's a spirit of cooperation and inclusivity that shows there's real commitment to make this work," he added.
In Singapore, the more than 50 GPSNR stakeholders also agreed that smallholder representatives should be part of the decision-making structure.
They further highlighted the importance of involving rubber processors, NGOs specialized in social aspects relevant to rubber production, and non-tire rubber product makers.
"We're all aware of the critical challenges that remain, but there's a feeling that, together, we can meet those challenges," Mr. Savi said.
The proposed governance structure will be put forward for adoption at the platform's inaugural general assembly, scheduled for March 21 in Singapore alongside the World Rubber Summit.