Nations to mobilise $12bn to tackle deforestation and land degradation

Image: UNClimatechange 

The pledge was made on Day Two of the World Leaders Summit at COP26 and commits nations to providing huge sums of public finance all geared towards the protection and restoration of forests.

The package of funding totals more than $12bn, with the UK pledging to provide £1.5bn over the next five years. This includes £350m for tropical rainforests in Indonesia, £200m from the LEAF Coalition and £300m that will go to reforestation in the Amazonian region.

Lord Zac Goldsmith, International Environment Minister, UK said: “Our global forests are absolutely fundamental if we are to limit global temperature rise to 1.5C, which is why this huge public finance commitment by the UK and our donor partners is so important.

“The $12bn commitment – the largest ever public climate finance pledge of its kind – will protect, restore and deliver sustainable management for forests, addressing the climate and biodiversity crises, providing targeted support for the regions like the Congo Basin and advancing and protecting the rights of Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities as forest guardians. It is a critical part of a broad and ambitious package of actions and commitments we are delivering at COP26 for the world’s forests.”

The Global Forest Finance Pledge (GFFP) builds on last night’s commitment from world leaders to end deforestation and reverse land degradation.

World leaders representing more than 100 nations, which between them play host to more than 85% of forests globally, have made the joint pledged, which has been described as a “landmark moment” for nature and, on the day of its launch, has already garnered financial support pledges of £8.75bn from national governments and £5.3bn from the private sector. The UK Government is providing £1.5bn to the initiative.

Under the commitment, nations commit to halt deforestation and land degradation by 2030, and to enter into a period of restoration by this point if possible.

Funding will be provided to developing nations as a priority, supporting projects that restore land degraded by land-use change for agri-food, other commercial activities, flooding, drought and wildfires. There will also be funding provided for initiatives that seek to ensure that the rights of Indigenous communities are respected. Some 80% of the world’s biodiversity is estimated to be concentrated within regions where Indigenous communities are based.

The $12bn funding commitment will support activities that improve governance over land and forests, support smallholder farmers to restore degraded land and mobilise private sector investments.

Additionally, 11 donor countries will work with the Bezos Earth Fund to launch a Joint Statement on supporting the Congo Basin forests. This includes an initial £1.1bn in financial support for the region, which is home to the world’s second-largest tropical rainforest and the world’s largest carbon sink, providing half of all rainfall across Africa.

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Matt Mace

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