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Nature's Role


The natural world and its ecosystems is a major, cost-effective ally in the goal of a climate stable world. Creative management of nature - from forests, rivers and wetlands to oceans and drylands – helps boost food security, cleaner air and biodiversity while reducing the vulnerability of people to climate change.

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In a video produced by the UN, heads of state and government, business CEOs, non-governmental organizations and representatives of indigenous peoples make a compelling case for an end to deforestation and for all leaders to endorse the New York Declaration on Forests launched at the UN Climate Summit on 23 September.

Deforestation is one of the main drivers of climate change. Over the past 40 years, producers of soy, palm oil and beef have expanded ever further into virgin forests to meet the needs of growing populations. The world every year loses forests which cover a surface the size of Greece. But awareness is growing for the urgent need to manage forests sustainably.

The New York Declaration on Forests constitutes a call to cut the loss of forests in half by 2020 and, for the first time, to end it a decade later in 2030. It also calls for the restoration of more than 350 million hectares of forests and croplands, an area greater than the size of India. If fully implemented, the measures outlined in the declaration would cut up to 8.8 billion tons of carbon dioxide each year by 2030.


Read the UN press release on the New York Declaration on Forests

Read about efforts to protect forests under the UNFCCC

More information is available on the UN-REDD programme web site

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