UN-UNFF sets landmark target to increase world’s forests by 120 million ha by 2030
New York, 23 January –Countries reached agreement last Friday on a plan that would significantly improve the outlook for the world’s forests, including a target that would expand the world’s forests by 120 million hectares—an area about the size of South Africa—by 2030.
The agreement, on the first-ever UN Strategic Plan for Forests, was forged at a special session of the UN Forum on Forests and provides an ambitious vision for global forests in 2030. The Plan features a set of six Global Forest Goals and associated targets to be reached by 2030, which are voluntary and universal.
Forests presently cover 30 per cent of the Earth’s land area, or nearly 4 billion hectares. Sustainably managed forests are healthy, productive, resilient and renewable ecosystems which provide essential goods and services to people worldwide. An estimated 1.6 billion people – 25 per cent of the global population – depend on forests for subsistence, livelihood, employment and income generation.
“Recognizing the vital contributions of forests to people, planet and prosperity, the Strategic Plan includes a target to increase forest area by three per cent worldwide by 2030, signifying an increase of 120 million hectares, an area over twice the size of France,” said Hans Hoogeveen, Co-Chair of the Working Group that developed the UN Strategic Plan for Forests for 2017-2030.