The first major agreement of the climate summit in Glasgow was reached at the beginning of this week. The Netherlands and a hundred other world leaders have promised to end and reverse deforestation by 2030. This effectively means that more trees will have to be planted rather than cut down from 2030. Although this is great news, it also raises some questions: why is this promise so important, what is being done to uphold it and what can you do yourself? We have combed through the proverbial forest of information and have listed the most important information for you.
To understand why it is important to stop deforestation, it is important to look at how deforestation is affecting the environment.
According to various sources, about 10 million hectares of forest are cleared every year. To meet the 2030 target and end deforestation, nearly 1 million hectares less will need to be cleared per year, according to a report by The New York Forest Declaration.
In order to fulfill this promise, 10.2 billion euros will be allocated until 2025. Part of the funding will go to developing countries to restore damaged land, fight forest fires and support indigenous communities. In addition, investments are also made in combating illegal logging, education and sustainable land usage.
Earlier, in 2014, a similar agreement was reached in New York. According to The New York Declaration on Forests, we are not on track to meet this previously set target, so drastic steps need to be taken. So how much is this new promise worth? The big difference now is the size of the funding and important and forested countries that support this objective, such as Brazil, Russia and China. The participating countries own 85% of the world's forests, which is about 34 million square kilometers.
Click here to view the full list of participating countries and agreements.
The Netherlands is in the top 5 of European countries that cause deforestation. Tropical forests are cut down, the land is used for agriculture such as soy plantations. The soy is then exported to the Netherlands, for example for our animal feed. The WWF wants this to change and that, for example, forests should no longer be cut down to grow animal feed. They hope that there will be a new law in the European Union for this.
Your power as a consumer is vital to stopping deforestation! Fortunately, there are also many alternatives and initiatives with which you can contribute to reducing deforestation. At Bambook we believe that every step counts!
By making your voice heard and taking steps yourself, you can inspire others to follow your example. You can do this, for example, by joining the climate march on 6 November in Amsterdam or by participating in one of the other initiatives of the Climate Week.