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The protection, preservation and creative management of forests ecosystems contribute to economic growth, poverty reduction and greater food security. Such cost-effective action also helps communities adapt to climate change and securing the rights and livelihoods of indigenous peoples and local communities. Photo ©FAO/R. Heinrich

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Spurred by the UN Secretary General’s Climate Summit in September 2014, the New York Declaration on Forests is a political declaration that brings together governments, companies and civil society actors including indigenous peoples organizations with the common aim of halving the loss of natural forests by 2020, and striving to end it by 2030.

It also calls for restoring an area of forests and croplands that is larger than India.

Meeting these goals would reduce carbon pollution by between 4.5 and 8.8 billion tons every year – about as much as the current emissions of the United States.

The Declaration has been endorsed by dozens of governments, over 30 of the world’s biggest companies, and more than 50 influential civil society and indigenous organizations.

Several entities supporting the Declaration have further announced concrete actions and partnerships. These include:

  • Commodity traders calling for public policies to eliminate deforestation
  • A pledge by indigenous peoples to protect hundreds of millions of hectares of tropical forests
  • New commitments from forest country governments to reduce deforestation or to restore degraded lands
  • New bilateral and multilateral programs to pay countries for reduced deforestation over the next six years
  • New procurement policies for several of the largest forest commodity importer governments

See the action statement made at the UN Secretary General’s Climate Summit.

Photo credit: H. K. Tang (Flickr)

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