Leaders commit to halt and reverse forest loss and land degradation by 2030

More than 100 countries signed the Glasgow Leaders’ Declaration on Forests and Land Use on the second day of the COP26.

In the Declaration, the leaders “commit to working collectively to halt and reverse forest loss and land degradation by 2030 while delivering sustainable development and promoting an inclusive rural transformation”. To achieve this pledge, 11 billion € will be invested by public funds and 6 billion € from the private sector.

The shared efforts will aim to:

  1. Conserve forests and other terrestrial ecosystems and accelerate their restoration;
  2. Facilitate trade and development policies, internationally and domestically, that promote sustainable development, and sustainable commodity production and consumption, that work to countries’ mutual benefit, and that do not drive deforestation and land degradation;
  3. Reduce vulnerability, build resilience and enhance rural livelihoods, including through empowering communities, the development of profitable, sustainable agriculture, and recognition of the multiple values of forests, while recognising the rights of Indigenous Peoples, as well as local communities, in accordance with relevant national legislation and international instruments, as appropriate;
  4. Implement and, if necessary, redesign agricultural policies and programmes to incentivise sustainable agriculture, promote food security, and benefit the environment;
  5. Reaffirm international financial commitments and significantly increase finance and investment from a wide variety of public and private sources, while also improving its effectiveness and accessibility, to enable sustainable agriculture, sustainable forest management, forest conservation and restoration, and support for Indigenous Peoples and local communities;
  6. Facilitate the alignment of financial flows with international goals to reverse forest loss and degradation, while ensuring robust policies and systems are in place to accelerate the transition to an economy that is resilient and advances forest, sustainable land use, biodiversity and climate goals.

The main added value of this declaration is the broad political support of 124 countries around the globe, including Brazil, Canada, China, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Indonesia, Russia and US, to name only those with the biggest forest resources, as well as the European Union. Hopefully, this will lead towards strengthening the efforts of the international community not only to halt deforestation worldwide but also to promote sustainable and multifunctional forest management on a global scale.

Interviewed by the Financial Times, Simon Lewis, professor of global change science at University College London, welcomed the news but added that “careful monitoring of the delivery of each initiative is essential for success”.

Picture source: Global Circulate

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