COP26: 105 countries pledge to halt, reverse forest loss, land degradation by 2030

File Photo of Rainforest by JungleBoy.

GLASGOW, Nov 2 – Leaders of more than 100 countries at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 26) here today pledged their commitment to work together to halt and reverse forest loss and land degradation by 2030 while delivering sustainable development and promoting an inclusive rural transformation.  

Under The Glasgow Leaders Declaration on Forests and Land Use, they reaffirmed their respective commitments, collective and individual, to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Paris Agreement, the Convention on Biological  Diversity, the UN Convention to Combat Desertification, the Sustainable Development Goals; and other relevant initiatives.  

They took note of the critical and interdependent roles of forests of all types, biodiversity and sustainable land use in enabling the world to meet its sustainable development goals; to help achieve a balance between anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions and removal by sinks; to adapt to climate change; and to maintain other ecosystem services.  

The full text of the declaration was made available at the official website of the COP 26.

The leaders also reaffirmed their commitments to sustainable land use, and to the conservation, protection, sustainable management and restoration of forests, and other terrestrial ecosystems. 

“Recognise that to meet our land use, climate, biodiversity and sustainable development goals, both globally and nationally, will require transformative further action in the  interconnected areas of sustainable production and consumption; infrastructure development; trade; finance and investment; and support for smallholders, Indigenous Peoples, and local communities, who depend on forests for their livelihoods and have a key role in their stewardship.”

The leaders also pledged to strengthen their efforts to: 

  1. Conserve forests and other terrestrial ecosystems and accelerate their restoration; 
  2. Facilitate trade and development policies, internationally and domestically, that promote sustainable development, and sustainable commodity production and consumption, that work to countries’ mutual benefit, and that do not drive deforestation and land degradation;
  3. Reduce vulnerability, build resilience and enhance rural livelihoods, including through empowering communities, the development of profitable, sustainable agriculture, and recognition of the multiple values of forests, while recognising the rights of Indigenous Peoples, as well as local communities, in accordance with relevant national legislation and international instruments, as appropriate;
  4. Implement and, if necessary, redesign agricultural policies and programmes to incentivise sustainable agriculture, promote food security, and benefit the environment; 
  5. Reaffirm international financial commitments and significantly increase finance and investment from a wide variety of public and private sources, while also improving its effectiveness and accessibility, to enable sustainable agriculture, sustainable forest management, forest conservation and restoration, and support for Indigenous Peoples and local communities; 
  6. Facilitate the alignment of financial flows with international goals to reverse forest loss and degradation, while ensuring robust policies and systems are in place to accelerate the transition to an economy that is resilient and advances forest, sustainable land use, biodiversity and climate goals. 

They finally called on other global leaders to join forces in a sustainable land use transition.

“This is essential to meeting the Paris Agreement goals, including reducing vulnerability to the impacts of  climate change and holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C and pursuing efforts to limit it to 1.5°C, noting that the science shows further  acceleration of efforts is needed if we are to collectively keep 1.5°C within reach.”

As for finances, 12 donor countries pledged to provide $12 billion (£8.75 billion) of public climate finance from 2021 to 2025 to a new Global Forest Finance Pledge to support action in developing countries, including restoring degraded land, tackling wildfires and advancing the rights of Indigenous Peoples and local communities.

In addition, 12 country and philanthropic donors pledged at least $1.5 billion to protect the forests of the Congo Basin. This is the area home to the second-largest tropical rainforest in the world, which is critically important to global efforts to address climate change as well as to sustainable development in the region.

14 country and philanthropic donors also pledged at least $1.7 billion from 2021 to 2025 to advance Indigenous Peoples’ and local communities’ forest tenure rights and support their role as guardians of forests and nature.

The following countries have signed the Glasgow Leaders Declaration on Forests and Land Use :

1 Albania 

2 Andorra 

3 Angola 

4 Armenia 

5 Australia 

6 Austria 

7 Belgium 

8 Belize 

9 Bhutan 

10 Bolivia 

11 Bosnia and Herzegovina 

12 Botswana 

13 Brazil 

14 Bulgaria 

15 Cameroon 

16 Canada 

17 Chile 

18 China 

19 Colombia 

20 Costa Rica 

21 Cote D’Ivoire 

22 Cyprus 

23 Denmark 

24 Dominican Republic

25 Democratic Republic of the Congo 

26 European Commission on behalf of the European Union 

27 Ecuador 

28 Estonia 

29 Fiji 

30 Finland 

31 France 

32 Gabon 

33 Germany 

34 Ghana 

35 Greece 

36 Grenada 

37 Guatemala 

38 Guinea Bissau 

39 Guyana 

40 Honduras 

41 Iceland 

42 Indonesia 

43 Ireland 

44 Israel 

45 Italy 

46 Japan 

47 Kazakhstan 

48 Kenya 

49 Kyrgyzstan 

50 Latvia 

51 Liberia 

52 Liechtenstein 

53 Lithuania 

54 Luxembourg 

55 Madagascar

56 Malawi 

57 Mali 

58 Malta 

59 Mauritius 

60 Monaco 

61 Mongolia 

62 Montenegro 

63 Morocco 

64 Mozambique 

65 Nepal 

66 Netherlands 

67 New Zealand 

68 Niger 

69 Nigeria 

70 North Macedonia 

71 Norway 

72 Pakistan 

73 Panama 

74 Papua New Guinea 

75 Peru 

76 Poland 

77 Portugal 

78 Republic of Congo 

79 Romania 

80 Russia 

81 Saint Lucia 

82 Samoa 

83 San Marino 

84 Seychelles 

85 Sierra Leone 

86 Slovakia

87 Slovenia 

88 South Korea 

89 Spain 

90 Sri Lanka 

91 Suriname 

92 Sweden 

93 Switzerland 

94 Tanzania 

95 Togo 

96 Turkey 

97 United Arab Emirates 

98 Ukraine 

99 Uruguay 

100 United Kingdom 

101 USA 

102 Vanuatu 

103 Vietnam 

104 Zambia 

105 Zimbabwe

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