UN Climate Change News, 10 November 2021 – The sustainable management and conservation of the world’s forests has been significantly boosted at COP26 with financial pledges, technical progress and a declaration by World Leaders and other stakeholders on ‘Forests and Land Use’. Realising that action is needed now to preserve forests’ crucial role in contributing to resilience-building, emission reductions and local livelihoods, this article provides an overview of progress achieved.
Recent reports have painted a grim picture of the state of the world’s forests, with rising deforestation rates, more severe and more frequent forest fires and damages caused by droughts and floods.
The commitment by World Leaders and other stakeholders aims to respond to this. It strengthens cooperation to make progress on providing financial resources and the necessary knowledge and tools to protect our forests and maintain their important ecosystem functions.
The COP26 World Leaders Summit ‘Action on Forests and Land Use’ brought together an alliance of governments, companies, financial actors, and non-state leaders to raise ambition on forests and land use. Over 130 leaders, representing more than 90% of the world’s forests, have committed to work together to halt and reverse forest loss and land degradation by 2030 in the Glasgow Leaders’ Declaration on Forests and Land Use.
This new pledge can build upon existing processes to reduce deforestation.
During the high-level dialogue of the Collaborative Partnership on Forests (CPF) on upscaling actions to turn the tide on deforestation, heads of participating CPF member agencies highlighted the knowledge acquired during existing efforts to address deforestation. They also emphasized the need for further collaboration to scale up efforts to halt deforestation and forest degradation.
In line with this, World Leaders in Glasgow recognized the critical importance and value of knowledge and forest guardianship provided by Indigenous Peoples and local communities, calling for indigenous peoples to be empowered as such.
Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD+) refers to a list of activities which countries may use to slow, halt and reverse forest cover and carbon loss. So far, 54 developing countries have submitted data and information on their REDD+ implementation, including forest reference levels for technical assessments, and resulting in over 8 Gigatons of verified emission reductions.
At the UN Climate Change side event on REDD+ and its methodologies, experts provided an overview on the experience with tools and methodologies used by Parties in REDD+ reporting to date, gave references to recent further instrumental information and capacity-building opportunities and presented ideas for further development and/or improvements of tools to REDD+ Parties and experts.
The event showed the tools and methodologies used by countries to implement their REDD+ efforts in line with the Warsaw Framework for REDD+, which refers to a 2019 breakthrough package of decisions and guidance on forests.
12 countries announced in the COP 26 Global Forest Finance pledge to collectively provide US$ 12 billion for forest-related climate finance between 2021 and 2025. These pledges will cater for enhanced collaboration to halt and reverse forest loss and land degradation by 2030.
It is an effort essential to meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement, including accelerating the pursuit of efforts to limit global average temperature increase to 1.5C and key to minimizing the risk of dangerous economic and social impacts caused by climate change.
This is an inspiring beginning. The real work comes beyond the commitments at COP 26, when these announcements need to face accountability, as well as lead to real and measurable progress in halting and reversing deforestation.
Find out more at:
- Glasgow Leaders’ Declaration on Forests and Land Use
- COP26 IPLC forest tenure joint donor statement
- Global Forest Finance pledge
- CPF High-Level Dialogue of the Collaborative Partnership on Forests: Upscaling Actions to Turn the Tide on Deforestation
- COP 26 UNFCCC REDD+ side event: Curtailing deforestation: How to measure progress
- UNFCCC REDD+ Web Platform