WWF calls for increased funding for forests at Global Landscapes Forum
"With forest protection and reforestation, we can carry out up to one-third of all measures that are needed worldwide to mitigate climate change. Every Euro more helps us in three ways: to slow down global warming, to improve livelihoods of local people and to preserve biodiversity. More than half of all species live in forests and 1.6 billion people rely on forests for their livelihood," says Dr. Susanne Winter, Program Manager, Forests, WWF Germany.
Forests are currently being destroyed at an unprecedented extent -- at an estimated rate of 7.6 million hectares of per year. Deforestation and degradation of forests also accelerate climate change, causing at least 11% of global greenhouse gas emissions. The sustainable use of landscapes and soils is a prerequisite for feeding a growing world population and important for water and energy supplies, the economy and trade, as well as for health, climate protection and biodiversity. Many restoration pledges have been made but how they should be implemented remains a big question.
The African Forest Landscape Restoration Initiative (AFR100) was launched on the sidelines of the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris. AFR100 aims to initiate reforestation on 100 million hectares in African countries by 2030. However, implementation efforts require financial commitments at scale. The forest fund of the BMZ, which could be responsible for all forest projects of the German ministry, could help remedy this situation. WWF has been a partner of the AFR100 since November.
The Bonn Challenge aims to restore 150 million hectares by 2020 and an additional 200 million hectares of degraded land shall be restored by 2030. More than 40 countries have already pledged a total of 150 million hectares. However, how these pledges will be implemented on the ground remains to be seen.
To accelerate action, in addition to public funding, other sources must be leveraged, such as funding from the private sector and through investment funds.
The Global Landscapes Forum this year will include over 1,000 participants discussing strategies for sustainable land use. It aims to link climate change mitigation, forest conservation and restoration with the sustainable development agenda.
WWF will be present at the GLF German Pavilion and at the Inclusive Landscapes Finance Pavilion, with its two platforms: Landscape Finance Lab and the New Generation Plantations, and on the panel organized by KfW related to forest landscape restoration: Ambitious commitments and challenging practice – the role of financing.