Halting and Reversing Forest Loss
Leaders from governments, civil society, and the business sectors convened at the Forest & Climate Leaders’ Partnership (FCLP) COP28 Ministerial with renewed ambition for taking action in accordance with the 2021 Glasgow Leaders’ Declaration on Forests and Land Use. We’ve covered some of the announcements in previous issues, but here’s what’s new:
- 15 governments launched a roadmap to scale investment in forest carbon results and credits, emphasizing the significant potential of Forest Carbon Markets in scaling payments for climate and environmental services provided by forests.
- Norway and Peru, in partnership with UK, Germany, DRC, Fiji, Colombia, Ecuador, the US, Costa Rica and the Netherlands, and with the Global Alliance of Territorial Communities, launched a Platform for Indigenous Peoples’ and Local Communities (IPLCs) to actively participate in high-level discussions, emphasising the importance of securing forest tenure rights.
- The latest Global Forest Finance Pledge report for 2022 shows that in the first two years of the 5-year pledge, USD 5.7 billion or 47% of the USD 12 billion pledge has already been directed towards forest-related programmes in developing countries.
- Public and philanthropic donors to the 5-year Congo Basin Pledge of COP26 have at the end of its first two years collectively provided 70% (over USD 1 billion) of the total USD 1.5 billion commitment towards support for the protection and sustainable management of the region’s forests and peatlands.
- In an effort to combat deforestation in the Colombian Amazon, Germany, Norway, and the United Kingdom announced a new investment of up to USD 34 million to protect deforestation hotspots and boost the creation of sustainable local economies, building upon the existing Joint Declaration of Intent (JDI).
- The FCLP released its first progress report.
- The European Union (EU), Germany, the Netherlands, and France, launched a global Team Europe Initiative (TEI) on Deforestation-free Value Chains. Aligned with the EU’s Global Gateway strategy, the new Team Europe Initiative is designed to halt deforestation and support partner countries in successfully transitioning to sustainable, deforestation-free, and legal value chains. It will contribute to implementing the new law on deforestation-free products. The EU and its Member States announced an initial package of €70 million in new funding for the implementation of this Team Europe Initiative, complementing a broad portfolio of ongoing programmes from the EU and its Member States on forests and halting deforestation.
- Netherlands announced a new contribution of 22.5 million euros to National Initiatives for Sustainable and Climate-Smart Oil Palm Smallholders (NI-SCOPS). This initiative has been developed in Indonesia, Malaysia, Nigeria, and Ghana. NI-SCOPS targets landscapes and producer groups where certification is difficult or uneconomical. It ‘raises the floor’ by partnering with (local) governments to guide all land users on the path to climate-smart agriculture and forest conservation.
- The Norwegian parliament has increased the support to Norway’s International Climate and Forest Initiative (NICFI) to 4 billion NOK (USD 375 million) in 2024 for rainforest efforts. Earlier this week at COP28, NICFI and the Bezos Earth Fund announced their collaboration to provide universal access to high-resolution satellite monitoring of the tropics.
- Santander announced that the Innovative Finance for the Amazon, Cerrado & Chaco (IFACC) initiative now comprises 16 signatories with USD 4.6 billion in commitments. Over USD 220 million has already been disbursed through 11 financial products in 2022 and 2023.
- Last year at COP27, with facilitation by the Tropical Forest Alliance, the biggest agricultural commodity companies launched the Agriculture Sector Roadmap to 1.5°C. This year, there has been progress from individual corporates in the soy sector setting 2025 no-conversion commitments, a signal that CEOs recognise the critical role that they play in achieving global climate and nature goals.
- As part of its evolution program, World Bank Group will work on Global Challenge Program for Forests for Development, Climate, and Biodiversity, which aims to consolidate actions and scale up funding for forests and biodiversity, thus firmly establishing this agenda as part of global development priorities.
Ministers from 14 nations, Indigenous leaders, climate scientists, and multilateral funders announced progress on plans for nature protection as a way to address the twin crises of climate change and global biodiversity loss. The event was co-hosted by the COP28 Presidency, High Ambition Coalition for Nature and People, Campaign for Nature, and the UN Climate Change High-Level Champion. During the event, China announced that it was joining the High Ambition Coalition for Nature People. The event also spotlighted recent announcements that included:
- Dominica’s recent designation of the world’s first marine protected area for sperm whales;
- Nigeria’s launching of a Ministerial Alliance for Nature Finance;
- Quebec’s new investment of $144.1 million to accelerate conservation; and,
- The High Ambition Coalition for Nature and People’s release of new technical and financial matchmaking tools to support countries develop and implement their plans to significantly increase terrestrial and marine protections and help the world fully achieve 30×30 in the remaining six years.
Protecting the Mangroves
21 countries joined the Mangrove Breakthrough – an effort to restore and protect 15 million hectares of mangroves globally by 2030. Separately, Indonesia launched a mangrove research centre that will be supported by the UAE. [Watch event here]
21 new countries committed to develop Sustainable Ocean Plans and 18 countries signed the Oceans Breakthrough, which focuses focus on marine conservation, ocean renewable energy, ocean-based transport, aquatic food, and coastal tourism is essential to ensure oceans thrive and contribute up to 35% of the emission reductions required by 2050. [Watch event here]