- The report shows that globally, at least 100 times more public funding goes to environmentally harmful subsidies than to finance forests.
- In addition to calling for financial promises to be met, the Forest Pathways 2023 report sets out a blueprint to save forests by 2030.
The world is off track to protect and restore forests by 2030 and failure to meet global forest targets will have catastrophic impacts on our world, a new report shows.
In the recent report, Forest Pathways by the World Wild Fund(WWF), it says that if leaders and businesses take action, it is possible to secure a future with more thriving forests that benefit humanity and the planet.
WWF Global Forests Lead Fran Price said the world is failing forests with devastating consequences on a global scale.
Price said it is impossible to reverse nature loss, address the climate crisis and develop sustainable economies without forests.
"Since the global pledge to end deforestation by 2030 was made, an area of tropical forest the size of Denmark has been lost. We are at a critical juncture. Governments and businesses have a huge responsibility to set us on the right pathway," Price said.
He said we do not need new forest goals but uncompromising ambition, speed and accountability to fulfill the goals that have already been set.
Data from the new Forest Declaration Assessment shows that deforestation reached 6.6 million hectares in 2022, with primary tropical forest loss at 4.1 million hectares.
It showed that 96 per cent of global deforestation takes place in tropical regions.
Tropical Asia is the only region that is close to the pathway for achieving zero gross deforestation.
"Tropical forests are beginning to act as a carbon source, not a sink, under the pressures of a warming, drying and increasingly extreme climate," WWF said.
"Widespread and increasing deforestation and degradation in the planet’s three largest tropical forest basins, the Amazon, Congo and Southeast Asia, could deliver a global climate catastrophe."
The report shows that globally, at least 100 times more public funding goes to environmentally harmful subsidies than to finance forests.
"Indigenous people and local communities receive a small fraction of the finance they need to secure their rights and effectively manage their territories. Even though where tropical forests are under their stewardship, forests are better protected and deforestation and degradation are lower," WWF said.
The Forest Declaration Assessment reveals that globally, only $2.2 billion in public funds are channeled to forests every year.
This they say is a negligible fraction compared to other global investments.
The reports came ahead of the Three Basins Summit scheduled for October 26 to 28.
The summit presented an important opportunity for governments to present an action-oriented agenda that demonstrates accountability and transparency, in the timeframe that is needed to meet the scale of urgency.
This includes increasing and channeling finance in a transparent and equitable way to high-integrity tropical forests.
In addition to calling for financial promises to be met, the Forest Pathways 2023 report sets out a blueprint to save forests by 2030.
This aims at achieving essential measures like ending forest-harming investments and subsidies responsible for the loss of 2.2 million hectares of forest per year.
The Kenyan government seeks to achieve the 10.6 million hectares target through the 15 billion trees initiative.
Their goal is also to achieve 30 per cent forest cover for Kenya by 2032 for biodiversity conservation, environmental sustainability, sustainable livelihoods, climate resilience and social-economic development.
The ambitious goal to restore and conserve 10.6 million hectares of degraded landscapes and ecosystems was boosted on October 13 as stakeholders gathered to discuss the way forward.
Manager of Southern Kenya Landscape Programme, WWF-Kenya Martin Mulama pointed out that large-scale restoration approaches in Amboseli have provided the best models for replication in other landscapes across the country
"These interventions have led to successful restoration of expansive landscapes, including rangelands and farmlands, and contributed to increased involvement of local communities and improvement of livelihoods," Mulama said.