At the ongoing UN Climate Change Conference, COP26, the leaders of 105 countries have made a declaration where they agree to “halt and reverse forest loss and land degradation by 2030 while delivering sustainable development and promoting an inclusive rural transformation.”

Ended deforestation by 2030

This was the COP26’s first major deal. Among the 105 signing countries, China, Russia, USA, Canada and Brazil are found. Also all the Nordic countries, Iceland, Norway, Denmark, Sweden and Finland are on the list. The 105 countries represent 85 % of the World’s forest land.

It is pointed out that communities who depend on the forest for their livelihood will have a key role and will need support to achieve the goal.

The declaration is summarized in six points.

“We will strengthen our shared efforts 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; 
  1. 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.”
Ended deforestation by 2030

By 2030 the deforestation of the World shall be ended, and after that the forest area shall grow. At least according to a declaration from 105 countries that represent 85 % of the World’s forest land.
Photo: Per Jonsson

Better luck this time?

A similar declaration was made in 2014 where the loss of natural forests should be halved by 2020 and stopped by 2030. That didn´t happen, some claim nothing has happened since then in this direction. On the contrary, the loss of forest land has increased. So, we will see how it goes this time.

A question occurred to me when I read about this: What is the difference between a “declaration” and a “promise”?

Read the whole declaration on forest and land use, including the list of signing countries here.