A year ago, politicians from over 140 countries faced at the United Nations-backed climate deal identified as COP26, pledging to stop environmental destruction by 2030. According to a new assessment, reductions are nowhere near what is required to bring deforestation rates to zero.
The Leader’s Objective
The Leaders’ Declaration on Forests and Land Use in Glasgow in 2021 arose from a recognition that the conversion of natural landscapes, including deforestation and degradation, accounts for 10-12% of global warming emissions. Every year, the world loses 10 million ha (25 million acres) of forested land, an area the size of Cuba.
The Glasgow pledge, in its core goals, is a follow-up to the NYDF (2014 New York Declaration on Forests) , one that called for nations to lessen rate of deforestation by 2020 as well as aim for zero forest degradation by 2030. According to a new review by the Forest Declaration Platform, which has been formed in 2017, deforestation rates will fall by only 6% in 2021 compared to 2018-20.
A Bright Spot
One bright spot is the world dominance of forested land between 2000 and 2020, one that covers a region the size of Peru. While attempts to retrieve deteriorated forest areas and broaden forested areas are commendable, they cannot compensate for the loss of standing primary forests, which serve as wildlife habitat, store carbon, and provide a variety of ecosystem services such as regulating water availability, according to the report.