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Wednesday, November 3, 2021

Over 100 leaders commit to end deforestation by 2030 with Glasgow Leaders’ Declaration on Forest and Land Use

Leader's event: Action on Forests and Land-use. Leaders’ Declaration on Forest and Land Use

Over 100 global leaders pledged to halt and reverse deforestation and land degradation by 2030, underpinned by $12bn in public and $7.2bn in private funding. to invest in protecting and restoring forests and reversing land degradation.

Leaders representing over 85% of the world’s forests made the commitment to halt and reverse deforestation and land degradation by 2030 at COP26. This included $12bn in public and $7.2bn in private funding. These announcements were part of an unprecedented package of economic and political commitments to end deforestation worldwide.

It includes the northern forests of Canada and Russia to the tropical rainforests of Brazil, Colombia, Indonesia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Australia has signed the Leaders Declaration on Forest and Land Use, but has not committed to the Global Forest Finance Pledge

The Prime Minister, HRH the Prince of Wales and the leaders of Colombia, Indonesia and the United States were among those who addressed the COP26 Forests & Land Use event.

Currently almost a quarter (23%) of global emissions come from land use activity, such as logging, deforestation and farming. Protecting forests and ending damaging land use is one of the most important things the world can do to limit catastrophic global warming, while also protecting the lives and futures of the 1.6 billion people worldwide – nearly 25% of the world’s population – who rely on forests for their livelihoods.

The UK COP26 newsletter for 2 November described the result:

114 leaders took a landmark step forward at a convening of world leaders on forests by committing to halt and reverse forest loss and land degradation by 2030. The pledge is backed by $12bn in public and $7.2bn in private funding. 

Countries from Canada to Russia to Brazil – which also increased its NDC yesterday – China, Colombia, Indonesia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo all endorsed the Glasgow Leaders’ Declaration on Forest and Land Use. 

Together, they support  85% of the world’s forests, an area of over 13 million square miles which absorbs around one third of global CO2 released from burning fossil fuels each year. 

This announcement was bolstered with a commitment by CEOs from more than 30 financial institutions with over $8.7 trillion of global assets – including Aviva, Schroders and Axa – committing to eliminate investment in activities linked to deforestation.  

President of Colombia Iván Duque said:

Colombia is proud to endorse the Glasgow Leaders’ Declaration on Forests and Land Use. The Declaration is a landmark commitment from countries to work together to end deforestation and all land degradation within the next decade.

Never before have so many leaders, from all regions, representing all types of forests, joined forces in this way and Colombia is committed to playing its part. We will enshrine in law a commitment to net-zero deforestation by 2030 – one of the most ambitious commitments in Latin America – and to protecting 30% of our land and ocean resources by 2030.

Now we must all work in partnership with businesses, the finance sector, smallholder farmers, Indigenous Peoples and local communities to create the conditions for forest-positive economies to grow and thrive.

President of Indonesia, Joko Widodo said:

Indonesia is blessed as the most carbon rich country in the world on vast rainforests, mangroves, oceans and peatlands. We are committed to protecting these critical carbon sinks and our natural capital for future generations.

We call on all countries to support sustainable development paths that strengthen the livelihoods of communities - especially indigenous, women and smallholders.

Prime Minister of Norway Jonas Gahr Store said:

We must work for an improved global framework for climate investments. To “keep 1.5 degrees alive” we have to halt forest loss this decade. Tropical forest countries need more international support and incentives to transform their land use policies.

Norway will continue and further develop its International Climate and Forest Initiative at high levels until 2030, and we’re excited to be part of a growing coalition of donors and companies mobilising to reduce deforestation and enable a just rural transition. I am particularly pleased that we are joining forces to secure Indigenous Peoples’ rights and increase the recognition of their role as forest guardians.

 Tuntiak Katan, Coordinator of the Global Alliance of Territorial Communities, representing communities from the rain forests of Africa, Latin America and Indonesia, said:

We welcome the announcement at COP of the Joint Statement on Advancing Support for Indigenous Peoples and local communities that has raised to an unprecedented level their visibility as a climate solution.

At the same time, we will be looking for concrete evidence of a transformation in the way funds are invested. If 80 percent of what is proposed is directed to supporting land rights and the proposals of Indigenous and local communities, we will see a dramatic reversal in the current trend that is destroying our natural resources.

Short video on Forests and Land-Use Narrated by David Attenborough arguing the need to stop deforrestation and address land use degradation

Leader's event: Action on Forests and Land-use (3:26:49)

"We cannont plant our way out of the climate crisis, we need to reduce emissions" - an informative BBC explainer about the problematic solution of planting more trees.


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