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COP25: UN Agencies commit to turn the Tide on Deforestation

Heads of UN agencies met at the Climate Change Conference in Madrid for a high-level Leadership Dialogue. They discussed how to stop deforestation and committed themselves to the common goal of helping countries reduce deforestation and improve forest management.

Up to 23% of all greenhouse gas emissions derive from the Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land Use (AFOLU) sector. However, a myriad of forest-based solutions taking place on the ground show the real and promising results that forests can deliver.

Chile , president of the COP25, called for measures to combat climate change and initiated the "Santiago Call for Action on Forests". Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation is an essential requirement, as is improving the so-called "sinks" which absorb carbon.

Together with improved land management options, forests and trees could provide up to 30% of greenhouse gas mitigation required by 2030 to keep the increase in global average temperature below 2 degrees Celsius, the upper temperature goal of the Paris Agreement.

All UN agencies committed firmly to the common goal of helping countries reduce deforestation and improve forest management.

Ibrahim Thiaw, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), stressed that "halting deforestation and restoring degraded forests are global imperatives. estoring degraded lands means better lives and income for farmers and herders and for women and youth, and less pressure to migrate to cities.".

The concept of land-degradation neutrality, which can help countries identify and address the drivers of deforestation in a robust way, was explained at the meeting. Land degradation neutrality provides a framework needed to keep land, including forests, healthy and resilient in the long term, which in turn will keep food, energy, carbon and biodiversity.

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) agreed with the strong need for action and highlighted several areas for implementing solutions. We need to focus on nature-positive agriculture, clean up our supply chains, adopt sustainable consumption and production methods and partner with the private sector," said Inger Andersen, Executive Director. "The good news is that there is much greater awareness about the state of our forests than ever before.

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