2022 Forest Declaration Assessment | 29 Oct 2022

For Prelims: COP-26, Deforestation, Indian Forest Policy, 1952, Forest Conservation Act, 1980.

For Mains: Findings of 2022 Forest Declaration Assessment and Recommendations.

Why in News?

Recently, the 2022 Forest Declaration Assessment was published, showing that the Deforestation rates worldwide declined only modestly in 2021 by 6.3 % compared to the 2018-20 baseline.

  • Some 145 countries affirmed their commitment to halt and reverse forest loss and land degradation by 2030 at the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow (2021).
  • Forest Declaration Assessment publishes annual updates on progress toward global forest goals.
    • In 2014, the New York Declaration on Forests (NYDF) was adopted as a political declaration calling for the end of natural forest loss and the restoration of 350 million hectares of degraded landscapes and forestlands by 2030.

What are the Findings?

  • Overview
    • Not a Single Global Indicator is on Track' to Reverse Deforestation by 2030.
    • To be on course to halt deforestation completely by 2030, a 10% annual reduction is needed.
    • While afforestation and restoration efforts have been commendable, more forest area is being lost than gained.
    • Global forest loss decreased in 2021, but the crucial climate goal of stopping deforestation by 2030 would still be missed.
  • Contributors to Deforestation:
    • Brazil was the world’s largest contributor to deforestation in 2021.
      • The country marked a 3% rise in the rate of deforestation in 2021 compared to the baseline 2018-2020.
      • Although Brazil didn’t show a large increase, its total deforestation rates each year remained high — making it the world’s largest contributor.
    • Bolivia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo underwent deforestation at 6 % and 3 %, respectively.
  • Gain in Tree Cover:
    • Global tree cover increased by 130.9 million hectares over the past two decades.
    • Three-quarters of the global gain was concentrated in 13 countries.
    • The most significant improvements were observed in Russia (28.4 %), Canada, the United States, Brazil, and China.
      • China showed the largest net gain in tree cover — 2.1 million hectares (Mha). India also marked a gain of 0.87 Mha in tree cover.
    • Globally, 118.6 Mha of the total tree cover gain is likely due to natural regeneration and assisted natural regeneration that occurred outside plantations.
  • Reduction in Deforestation:
    • Gabon reduced deforestation by 28% in 2021 compared to 2018-20.
      • The country implemented measures to combat illegal logging and the enforcement of protected areas.
    • Indonesia reduced deforestation after implementing the forest moratorium and improved enforcement measures.
      • The moratorium, which covers around 66 million hectares of primary forest and peatland (terrestrial wetland ecosystems), was first introduced in 2011 and has been renewed regularly as part of the efforts to reduce emissions from fires caused by deforestation.
    • In Brazil, the decline in deforestation rates between 2004 and 2012 can be partly attributed to the coordinated implementation of the Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of Deforestation in the Amazon.
      • It created protected areas and effective monitoring systems.
    • Recent years have seen legal interventions in the European Union, Ecuador and India to protect forests.
      • In 2021, a constitutional court in Ecuador upheld the rights of nature enshrined in the country’s constitution.
  • Recommendation:
    • It is essential to note that tree cover gain does not cancel out tree loss.
    • Forest cover gains don’t negate the impacts of forest loss in terms of carbon storage, biodiversity, or ecosystem services. The highest priority efforts should be directed towards safeguarding primary forests from losses in the first place.
    • Forest finance needs to be on track to meet global goals to halt and reverse deforestation by 2030.
      • It will cost up to USD 460 billion per year to protect, restore and enhance forests on a global scale.
      • Currently, domestic and international mitigation finance for forests averages USD 2.3 billion per year — less than 1 % of the required.
    • Forest funding must increase by up to 200 times to meet 2030 goals.
    • Forests are the backbone of our economies and crucial to our wellbeing. It is now more important than ever to speed up action and concerted efforts to halt deforestation and scale up restoration in a way that benefits people, nature and climate.
    • This means more ground-up inclusive solutions, stronger collaboration and coordination among the public and private sectors and the civil society, and moving from commitments to implementation.

What is Deforestation?

UPSC Civil Services Examination, Previous Year Questions

Q. In India, the problem of soil erosion is associated with which of the following? (2014)

1. Terrace cultivation
2. Deforestation
3. Tropical climate

Select the correct answer using the code given below

(a) 1 and 2 only
(b) 2 only
(c) 1 and 3 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3

Ans: (b)

Source: DTE