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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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Photo by: Arnaud Bouissou / COP21

Paris, 1 December 2015 - Leaders in the global drive to protect and restore forests met on Tuesday to announce a new focus on implementing partnerships with billions of dollars in additional resources before 2020 to ensure healthy forests and the sustainable farming and livelihoods that depend on them.

“It is only with bold commitments, leadership, cooperation and tenacity that it will be possible to safeguard the world’s forests...there can be no room for failure”, The Prince of Wales said at the opening of the Forest Focus under the Lima to Paris Action Agenda climate action programme at Paris COP21.

Around one billion people depend directly on forests for their livelihoods, and most of the remaining six billion of us depend on forests for the air we breathe, the rainfall that grows our food, and products we use every day. But each year, 12 million hectares of forest are destroyed and this loss is responsible for roughly 11 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions.

“There’s no climate change solution without forests. We need to move beyond the speeches and declarations to accelerated implementation; but for that we need to have the right incentives in place. Performance-based finance is essential to achieve the ambition the world needs“, said Felipe Calderon, Former President of Mexico.

“Forest countries in partnership with other governments, the private sector and civil society are set for anincreased international effort to eliminate natural deforestation and forest degradation in a few decades. The success of the LPAA and its action area on Forests relies on effective synergies between state and non-state actors, between investment and forest management -- all together rallied behind sustainably managed forests as a common goal.” said Peru’s Minister of the Environment Manuel Pulgar-Vidal.

On Monday, at the COP21 UN climate change confernce, heads of Government from major forest countries and partner countries also joined together to endorse forests as a key climate solution. Sixteen countries recommitted to provide strong, collective and urgent action to promote equitable rural economic development while slowing, halting and reversing deforestation and massively increasing forest restoration.

Several announcements were made at today’s session and at a Heads of States and Government session yesterday by partners of the LPAA, including:

New Commitments by Forest and Developed Countries to Increase Ambition to Act

Forest countries are developing national and sub-national plans and policies through which they will move from readiness efforts to concrete emission reduction programs, and governments have committed significant resources to incentivize and support action by forest countries to reduce deforestation.

  • Germany, Norway and the United Kingdom announced a collective aim to provide over $5 billion from 2015 to 2020, if forest countries demonstrate measured, reported and verified emission reductions.
  • Colombia in turn announced a commitment of $300 million with those same countries to deliver on its Amazon Vision and scale up its deforestation reduction efforts to the entire country.
  • Mexico committed to expanding its initiative to reduce forest emissions to another 6 million ha in the country with international support, within a vision of scaling up its efforts to the rest of the country.
  • Brazil: Brazil has delivered significant cuts in Amazon deforestation,over 70 percent in the last decade.  Building upon the results achieved to date, with the creation of the National REDD+ Commission and imminent approval of its REDD+ National Strategy, Brazil will be the first country to be ready for results-based payments.
  • Paraguay is recovering and protecting 1 million ha of forests by 2030 working in partnership with Itaipu Binacional company and international support, with a potential reduction emissions reductions of 200 million tons of CO2e.
  • Indonesia is tackling deforestation and forest degradation through improvement on forest governance, transparency, and stakeholder participation.
  • Democratic Republic of Congo is creating a REDD+ strategy.
  • Liberia has a long-standing commitment through the 4C’s strategy that integrates community, commercial, conservation and carbon storage services of forest.
  • Landscape Restoration: Landscape Restoration commitments by national and subnational governments under the Bonn Challenge initiative expects to have a minimum of 5 million hectares under restoration and additional commitments for another 60 million hectares.
  • African and Latin American countries are making progress on land restoration and the 20x20 initiative (20 million hectares by 2020).
  • Latin American Protected Areas Declaration: 16 countries have stressed the key role of protected areas for adaptation to the adverse impacts of climate change and climate change mitigation. They call for increased international support for the effective and sustainable management of protected areas

Commitments by Non-state Actors Acting in Synergy to Tackle Climate Change

Ambitious goals have been set out by private sector actors to achieve zero net deforestation on supply chains of agricultural commodities such as palm oil, soy, paper and beef products no later than 2020 and ending natural forest loss by 2030.

  • Major consumer product companies Marks & Spencer and Unilever signed a new pledge committing to prioritize responsible sourcing for major commodities, including palm oil, beef and paper.
  • Mondelez committed to invest US$400 million in the next decade to support the production of sustainable cocoa with zero net deforestation in Africa.
  • Itaipu Binational committed to restoring degraded forests in the area of influence of the dam that it manages, as part of a private-public partnership with the Government of Paraguay to restore and conserve one million hectares by 2030. 
  • 42 major companies committed under the We mean Business Coalition to remove commodity driven deforestation from all supply chains by 2020.
  • Members of Consumer Goods Forum that represents 400 companies and commodity traders are committing to preferentially source commodities from these areas, such as through quantity or pricing guarantees. Commercial banks and private investors are committing to mobilize a specific amount of financing for land sector development in these areas.

Indigenous Peoples and Civil Society Build Amazon Fund

In the Amazon basin, indigenous organizations are building the Indigenous Amazon Fund, promoting the Indigenous REDD+ approach and working on forest projects with the support of the Dedicated Grant Mechanism of the Forest Investment Program (a funding from the World Bank, provides investments in forestry to support countries’ development and REDD+ objectives).

  • Strengthening credibility of commitments on forest and climate, Civil Society is building a framework of indicators and assessment on progress to end deforestation by 2030 under the New York Declaration of Forests (www.forestdeclaration.org)


The Lima-Paris Action Agenda is a joint undertaking of the Peruvian and French COP presidencies, the Office of the Secretary-General of the United Nations and the UNFCCC Secretariat. It aims to strengthen climate action throughout 2015, in Paris in December and well beyond through: mobilizing robust global action towards low carbon and resilient societies; providing enhanced support to existing initiatives, such as those launched during the NY SG Climate summit in September 2014; and mobilizing new partners and providing a platform for the visibility of their actions, commitments and results in the run up to COP21.Learn more at http://newsroom.unfccc.int/lpaa/about/


Press contacts for the Focus:

LPAA Press Officer: Diane Gaillard | +33 6 99 62 49 79 | lpaa@cop21.gouv.fr
Focus Forest coordinator: Tamara Lasheras, tlasheras@minam.gob.pe
LPAA Event Programme online http://newsroom.unfccc.int/lpaa/cop-21/#Events
LPAA Press kit: http://newsroom.unfccc.int/media/509508/lpaa-primer.pdf

LPAA on Twitter: https://twitter.com/LPAA_Live
LPAA on Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/136161474@N05/albums
LPAA videos, UNFCCC Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/climateconference

UNFCCC Twitter accounts:

English: https://twitter.com/unfccc
French: https://twitter.com/CCNUCC
Spanish: https://twitter.com/CMNUCC
German: https://twitter.com/UNKlima

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