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Global Forest Goals Report 2021

UN 2021.08.27
Progress in protecting the world’s forests―and the people who rely on them―is at risk due to the devastating impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and the escalating climate and biodiversity crises, according to a new report released today by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA). According to the Global Forest Goals Report 2021, the world had been making progress in key areas, such as increasing the global forest area through afforestation and restoration. Many regions, in particular, Asia, Europe and Oceania, appear to be on track to reach one of the key targets of the Global Forest Goals - increasing forest area by three percent by 2030. However, these advances are being threatened by the overall worsening state of our natural environment, including land degradation, pests and invasive species, fires, storms, and droughts. Increasing rural poverty, unemployment and population growth, combined with greater competition for land with other sectors, including agriculture and urbanization, are also putting growing pressure on forests. The report is being launched as countries begin meetings of the UN Forum on Forests today, which will review progress of the United Nations Strategic Plan for Forests 2030 and its six Global Forest Goals that were created to strengthen the management of the world’s forests and improve the lives of people who depend on these vital ecosystems. “Before the pandemic, many countries were working hard to reverse native forest loss and increase protected areas designated for biodiversity conservation,” wrote UN Secretary-General Ant?nio Guterres in the report’s foreword. “Some of those gains are now at risk with worrying trends of increased deforestation of primary tropical forests.”
Observing that millions of people have turned to forests for their most essential subsistence needs during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Secretary-General urged all actors, including governments, the business community and civil society, “to take urgent action to halt deforestation, prevent forest degradation and restore forests.”

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