People are more willing than ever before to protect forests and manage them sustainably. Nonetheless, many millions of hectares of forest are lost every year – mostly in tropical and subtropical regions. This loss not only accelerates climate change, but also destroys the livelihoods of many people. Around a third of people worldwide rely to a greater or lesser extent on forests for their survival.
There are various challenges associated with this. Although the positive climate effects of the forest are of political significance and, as a result, the commitment of donors has increased, in many countries investment in agriculture still predominates, which can potentially lead to deforestation.
Forest-conservation policies are difficult to enforce, and conflicts relating to land and to land use are increasing worldwide. In many countries, political responsibilities are distributed across various, sometimes competing, ministries, which makes a coordinated approach more difficult. Good governance in the forest sector remains a major challenge. On the donors’ side, there is also a need to further harmonise the current support approaches and counteract further fragmentation and bureaucratisation. The situation in civil society is an additional factor. Restrictive legislation, criminalisation and threats are increasingly limiting the scope for indigenous groups and nature conservation organisations to act.
The goals of the New York Declaration on Forests from 2014 are increasingly being implemented: end natural forest loss by 2030, restore 350 million hectares of forest by 2030 and keep supply chains deforestation-free.