IISD: “Working Across Sectors to Halt Deforestation and Increase Forest Area” Summary Highlights, 20-22 February 2017
On Thursday morning, participants met to discuss innovative instruments to upscale progress: financing, technologies and research. Parallel sessions addressed: public and private international finance; innovative technologies for land-use monitoring; financial instruments to mobilize domestic funding; and the role of science and research.
In the afternoon, plenary discussed a series of key messages, including:
- maintaining sufficient productive, diverse and healthy forests is crucial for achieving the SDGs, and climate and biodiversity targets;
- achieving SDG 15.2 on halting deforestation by 2020 and Target 1.1 of the UN Strategic Plan for Forests on reversing the loss of forest cover and increasing forest areas by 3% worldwide by 2030 can only be achieved through political will, individual motivation and concerted collective action, adequate governance frameworks and involvement of multiple actors;
- halting deforestation requires corporate responsibility of agribusiness, supported by international trade instruments and consumer education;
- scaling up finance and investment requires positive incentives, improved legality, public-private partnerships, innovative instruments and de-risking private sector investment;
- land-use competition between forests and agriculture can be solved by a landscape approach to increase resilience; and
- expanded research is required to provide practical pathways that support the development of evidence-based policies.
Some participants urged limiting the number of key messages to four, while others made suggestions for additions and revisions, including on: the urgency of addressing deforestation; focus on restoration; the contribution of indigenous and tribal peoples; triggers of transformational change; involvement of smallholders; and focus on actionable recommendations to target groups such as governments, the private sector, civil society, and the research community.