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Biodiversity & Environment

Glasgow Leaders’ Declaration on Forests and Land Use

  • 05 Nov 2021
  • 4 min read

Why in News

Recently, an ambitious declaration was initiated by the United Kingdom to “halt deforestation” and land degradation by 2030.

Key Points

  • About the Declaration:
    • Integrated Approach: The declaration recognise that to meet our land use, climate, biodiversity and sustainable development goals, both globally and nationally will require transformative further action in the interconnected areas:
      • Sustainable production and consumption.
      • Infrastructure development; trade; finance and investment.
      • Support for smallholders, Indigenous Peoples, and local communities, who depend on forests for their livelihoods and have a key role in their stewardship.
      • To help achieve a balance between anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions and removal by sinks; to adapt to climate change; and to maintain other ecosystem services.
    • Signatories: The declaration has over 105 signatories including the UK, US, Russia and China.
      • These countries represent 75% of global trade and 85% of global forests in key commodities that can threaten forests – such as palm oil, cocoa and soya.
      • They have also committed USD 12 billion in public funds from 2021-25.
    • Commitment to Multilateral Agreement: It reaffirmed respective commitments to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Paris Agreement, the Convention on Biological Diversity, the UN Convention to Combat Desertification, the Sustainable Development Goals; and other relevant initiatives.
  • Major Highlights of the Declaration:
    • Conservation: Conserve forests and other terrestrial ecosystems and accelerate their restoration.
    • Sustainable Development: Facilitate trade and development policies, internationally and domestically, that promote sustainable development, and sustainable commodity production and consumption.
    • Building Resilience: Reduce vulnerability, build resilience and enhance rural livelihoods, including through empowering local communities.
    • Recognising Indigenous Rights: The development of profitable, sustainable agriculture, and recognition of the multiple values of forests, while recognising the rights of Indigenous.
    • Financial Commitments: Reaffirm international financial commitments and significantly increase finance and investment from a wide variety of public and private sources.
  • India’s Stand:
    • India, Argentina, Mexico, Saudi Arabia and South Africa are the only G20 countries that did not sign the declaration. The declaration interlinks trade to climate change and forest issues. Trade falls under the World Trade Organization and should not be brought under climate change declarations.
    • India and others had asked the word “trade” to be removed, but the demand was not accepted. Therefore they didn't sign the declaration.
      • The issue of deforestation in India is a hotly contested one. The government has repeatedly said that the tree cover and forest cover in India have increased over the past few years.
      • However, environmentalists have long pointed out that the government is busy diluting existing environmental protections to open them up for mining and other infrastructure projects that will alter the forests, wildlife, and the people living around it forever.

Source: IE

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