COP27 – Germany to double commitment for global forest conservation
The first meeting of Heads of Government of the Forest Climate Leaders Partnership was held today at COP27 in Sharm el-Sheikh upon invitation of the UK government. This initiative was launched by the UK during last year’s COP26 Presidency in Glasgow/UK with a view to jointly advancing the conservation, restoration and sustainable use of forests. At the meeting in Sharm el-Sheikh, Germany announced that it would be doubling its contribution to forest conservation from one to two billion euros in the period up to 2025, 1.7 billion euros of which is being made available through the BMZ.
The funds will be invested mainly via bilateral programmes with partner countries such as Brazil, Ecuador, Madagascar or Pakistan. The latter, for instance, has set itself the goal to restore forest habitats by planting ten billion trees by 2023.
In addition, funding will be provided to multilateral initiatives. This includes, for example, the Central African Forest Initiative CAFI and the Congo Basin Forest Partnership with what are now 122 partners, including ten Central African partners with high forest cover.
The objective of cooperating is to intensify and coordinate efforts to sustainably protect and use forest resources in the Congo Basin. The engagement also involves the co-founding of and ongoing support for the African Forest Landscape Restoration Initiative (AFR100). The BMZ is helping to restore at least 100 million hectares of forest and tree-rich landscapes by 2030 under this framework.
Germany is thus sending a strong signal for stepping up commitment to forest conservation. This is indispensable to achieve the goal of stopping deforestation and land degradation by 2030, which was what the international community agreed on last year in the Glasgow Leaders' Declaration on Forests and Land Use.
To keep global warming below the 1.5 degree threshold, it will be necessary to cut the greenhouse gas emissions of, for instance, energy production, industry and traffic and also strengthen and restore natural carbon sinks such as forests and wetlands.
Advocating the rights of indigenous people
Indigenous people and local communities, in particular, depend on natural resources and biodiversity, not least as regards food security. At the same time, these communities contribute valuable knowledge to forest conservation. That is why Germany is an advocate, in particular, of the rights and involvement of indigenous people and local communities when it comes to forest conservation. After all, the conservation and restoration of forests can only be successful if the local communities are involved.
Roughly one third of the world’s population depend on forests for their livelihood. Since 1990, an estimated 420 million hectares of forest has been lost – an area roughly the size of the European Union. A major share of this, some 88 per cent of global forest destruction, is caused by agriculture.
Consumption, is still contributing significantly to the destruction of forests, including in Europe. That is why the EU is currently working on new legislation under the Green Deal which will ban the import of products that manufactured in a way that is damaging forests. This concerns, for instance, wood, coffee, cocoa, palm oil, beef or soybeans, mainly used to feed pigs and poultry.
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