Progress Assessment of New York Declaration on Forests Shows “Record High” Deforestation Rates
Photo by Luis Del Río Camacho
story highlights

The international community is not on track to meet the goals of the New York Declaration on Forests, including halving natural forest loss globally by 2020.

The 2018 Progress Assessment highlights major gaps and remaining challenges in implementation, including with regard to agricultural commodity markets and resource-based growth, although forest landscape restoration efforts provide some hope.

28 September 2018: The international community is not on track to meet the goals of the New York Declaration on Forests, including halving natural forest loss globally by 2020. This is the conclusion of the 2018 Progress Assessment, which addresses nine out of ten goals of the Declaration, highlighting major gaps and remaining challenges in implementation.

The New York Declaration on Forests (NYDF) is a non-binding international declaration aiming to promote action to halt global deforestation. The NYDF Assessment Partners include civil society groups and research institutions. The Declaration outlines ten ambitious goals related to protecting and restoring forests. Among its key findings, the Progress Assessment stresses:

  • pledges to stop deforestation have reached significant shares of agricultural commodity markets, yet major gaps remain, including data on implementation of commitments;
  • non-agricultural deforestation, related for instance to mining, continues to threaten forests, as tropical countries double down on resource-based growth;
  • results-based payments for REDD+ incentivize forest protection, but progress in demonstrating results and in leveraging funds remains slow;
  • forest restoration commitments grow, but measuring implementation remains challenging; and
  • investments in drivers of deforestation dwarf finance to protect forests, although safeguards are slowly being introduced.

Forest landscape restoration provides hope, according to the Assessment, which highlights progress in the ambition of governments and the private sector to restore degraded and deforested lands, with nearly 13 million hectares in new pledges to the Bonn Challenge since September 2017. This brings total pledges to 168.9 million hectares, which means that, in term of pledges, the first Bonn Challenge milestone has been surpassed. The 2011 Bonn Challenge is an initiative bringing together governments and the private sector in an effort to bring 150 million hectares of deforested and degraded land into restoration by 2020, and 350 million hectares by 2030. [2018 Progress Assessment Summary] [IUCN Press Release] [New York Declaration on Forests Website] [New York Declaration on Forests Goal Assessments] [Bonn Challenge Website]

related posts