UN Climate Change News, 14 November 2022 – Important progress on sustainable forest management and conservation has been made at the UN Climate Change Conference COP27 in Sharm el-Sheikh with the launch of the Forest and Climate Leaders’ Partnership (FCLP), which aims to unite action by governments, businesses and community leaders.
The Partnership aims to boost action to implement a commitment made by over 140 countries at COP26 in Glasgow last year to halt forest loss and land degradation by 2030 and to convert ambition into results on the ground.
A key report published this year by the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) - the State of the World’s Forests Report 2022 - highlights the need to step up action to unlock the potential of forests in tackling climate change and biodiversity loss.
Only by stepping up efforts to reduce deforestation and implementing other mitigation activities in the forest sector can the Paris Agreement goal of limiting global average temperature rise to 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels be reached.
Twenty-seven countries, representing over 60% of global GDP and 33% of the world’s forests, have already joined the new partnership and are committed to leading by example on one or more of the FCLP’s action areas.
These include mobilizing public and donor finance to support implementation, supporting Indigenous Peoples’ and local communities’ initiatives, and incentivizing the conservation of high-integrity forests.
“This alliance is an opportunity to implement solutions that reduce deforestation, that increase forest restoration and strengthen the livelihoods of people living in forest areas,” said Gustavo Manrique Miranda, Minister of the Environment and Water, Ecuador.
President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, on behalf of the European Union, said: “Only with healthy forests can we deliver on our shared climate commitments under the Paris Agreement. And only with intact, lively forests can we address biodiversity.”
Government representatives meeting at COP27 announced that of the $12 billion committed in Glasgow to protect and restore forests over 2021-2025, $2.67 billion have already been spent and that public and private donors have committed a further $4.5 billion since COP26.
To ensure accountability, the FCLP will hold annual meetings and publish an annual Global Progress Report that includes independent assessments of global progress toward the 2030 goal, and progress made by the FCLP itself.
A new momentum for REDD+
Meanwhile, developing countries are taking ongoing concrete actions to protect forests under the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD+) mechanism.
REDD+ provides a holistic framework for forest climate action, including by providing results-based payments for emission reductions achieved in the forestry sector. The renewed political and financial commitment towards forest climate action shown at COP27 is creating a new momentum for REDD+.
The framework for measuring, reporting and verifying forest-related emissions under UN Climate Change, included in the Paris Agreement, serves as a guide for all mitigation action in the forestry sector, independently of the source of results-based finance.
Around 60 developing countries are already implementing REDD+ activities under UN Climate Change, resulting in over nine gigatons of verified emission reductions.