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The Glasgow Leaders’ Declaration on Forest and Land Use, which has seen over 100 global leaders pledge to end deforestation by 2030, is a significant step. But the key is to ensure implementation of that signed commitment to the future of people and the planet. 

Zoë Quiroz-Cullen, Fauna & Flora International’s Director of Climate & Nature Linkages, said: “It’s hugely welcome to see new, leader-level commitments from so many countries to halt deforestation. Protecting nature needs to be embedded into the decarbonisation plans of all governments and all businesses. Net zero cannot be achieved without this and safeguarding carbon-rich tropical forests, some of the world’s most important biodiversity strongholds, is the ultimate climate and nature double-win.   

“But it must be said that we’ve had warm words before that have failed to deliver. Many of the governments signed up to this pledge already committed to halt deforestation by 2030 in the New York Declaration of 2014, which also pledged to halve deforestation by 2020 – something that governments demonstrably failed to achieve. This time, there needs to be real accountability and it is not yet clear how this will be delivered.  

“To succeed where previous pledges have failed, the Glasgow Declaration also needs to be backed up by meaningful finance. The funds committed here are a positive start but they need to be invested wisely. The goal must be to create nothing less than a new normal in forest management, which truly values the global good that forest-rich developing nations are delivering to the world by keeping forests standing. At the same time, harmful subsidies and investments in industries and activities that fuel deforestation must end. 

“Funding also needs to reach the right places. To achieve the goal of an end to deforestation we need locally led nature protection. International finance needs to get to Local Communities and Indigenous Peoples, who are often the most effective stewards of the natural environment.”