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30-11-2015 Cop20 news

Heads of Government from major forest countries join to endorse Forest as a key climate solution


Paris, 30 November 2015.- Today, Heads of Government from major forest countries and partner countries joined together to endorse forests as a key climate solution. They recommitted to providing strong, collective and urgent action to promote equitable rural economic development while slowing, halting and reversing deforestation and massively increasing forest restoration.

In a short session on the opening day of the Paris climate summit, Peru and Partners countries, joined to put forward a vision for forests and climate change, which is the first of its kind to be released by Heads of Government from forest and partner countries. The vision was endorsed by Australia, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, France, Gabon, Germany, Indonesia, Japan, Liberia, Norway, Peru, the United Kingdom and the United States. The session was hosted by the United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Envoy on Climate Change and former President of Ireland, Mrs. Mary Robinson.

During the event, Mary Robinson highlighted the commitment of the Government of Peru in promoting climate action forest agenda.

Several leaders announced major new actions to protect and restore forests, including:

  • Brazil and Norway made a joint announcement to extend their climate and forest partnership until 2020. Brazil has delivered impressive results in reducing Amazon deforestation over 70 percent in the last decade. Both Germany and Norway will continue to support Brazil at scale to further increase ambition on reducing deforestation and forest degradation.
  • Colombia announced an ambitious partnership , together with Germany, Norway, and the United Kingdom, to implement its vision for green growth, with a particular focus on reducing deforestation in the Amazon region.
  • Germany, Norway and the United Kingdom announced a collective aim to provide $5 billion from 2015 to 2020, or $1 billion per year by 2020, if countries pursue ambitious REDD+ programs, and an intent to significantly increase pay-for-performance finance if countries demonstrate measured, reported and verified emission reductions.

In announcing their statement, the leaders demonstrated alignment around a shared implementation strategy – one centered on enhancing forest protection and restoration, while simultaneously improving rural livelihoods and food security. They recognized the importance of mitigating the main source of emissions, burning fossil fuels. The leaders highlighted that other governments and countries are taking ambitious action to deal with deforestation and forest degradation, and said they will continue working together to advance the REDD+ framework within a global climate agreement to be agreed at COP21 in Paris.

More than a billion people depend directly on forests for their livelihoods, and the remaining six billion of us depend on forests for a variety of economic, social, and environmental benefits such as the rainfall, biodiversity,  pollinators, carbon storage, and clean water they provide. Forests also play a critical role for many countries in their ability to adapt to a changing climate.

However, each year approximately 12 million hectares of forest are destroyed. Forests could provide up to one third of the climate solution that we need over the next two decades.

Download the full statement, HERE.

GNU Joint Statement on REDD for COP 21 FINAL


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