Politics

Over 100 world leaders pledge to end deforestation by end of decade


British Prime Minister Boris Johnson says the Glasgow Leaders’ Declaration on Forest and Land Use is an “unprecedented agreement.”

The joint statement was backed by the leaders of countries including Brazil, Indonesia and the Democratic Republic of Congo, which collectively account for 85 percent of the world's forests.
The joint statement was backed by the leaders of countries including Brazil, Indonesia and the Democratic Republic of Congo, which collectively account for 85 percent of the world’s forests.
(AP)

More than 100 global leaders have pledged to halt and reverse deforestation and land degradation by the end of 2030.

“We will have a chance to end humanity’s long history as nature’s conqueror, and instead become its custodian,” said British leader Boris Johnson said on Monday, calling it an unprecedented agreement.

The Glasgow Leaders’ Declaration on Forest and Land Use will cover forests totalling more than 13 million square miles.

A slew of additional government and private initiatives were also launched to help reach that goal, including billions in pledges for indigenous guardians of the forest and sustainable agriculture.

READ MORE: UN chief urges action to ‘save humanity’ at COP26 climate summit

READ MORE: Colombia says 42,600 hectares deforested in Amazon in first half of 2021

What do we know about the agreement?

Twelve countries including Britain have pledged to provide $12 billion of public funding between 2021 and 2025 to help developing countries, including in efforts to restore degraded land and tackle wildfires.

More than 30 private sector investors with more than $8.7 trillion in assets also pledged to stop investing in activities linked to deforestation by 2025.

They said they would make “best efforts” to eliminate deforestation related to cattle, palm oil, soy and pulp production by 2025.

Five countries, including the Britain and United States, and a group of global charities also pledged to provide $1.7 billion in financing to support indigenous people’s conservation of forests and to strengthen their land rights.

Environmentalists say that indigenous communities are the best protectors of the forest, often against violent encroachment of loggers and land grabbers.

READ MORE: Developed nations are ‘encouraging’ deforestation in poorer ones

2014 New York Declaration of Forests

Monday’s agreement vastly expands a similar commitment made
by 40 countries as part of the 2014 New York Declaration of
Forests and goes further than ever before in laying out the
resources to reach that goal.

Forests absorb roughly 30 percent of carbon dioxide emissions, according to the nonprofit World Resources Institute. The forests take the emissions out of the atmosphere and prevent them from warming the climate.

Yet this natural climate buffer is rapidly disappearing. The world lost 258,000 square kilometres of forest in 2020, according to WRI’s deforestation tracking initiative Global Forest Watch. That is an area larger than the United Kingdom.

READ MORE: Amazon is now emitting more carbon dioxide than it absorbs

Source: TRTWorld and agencies



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