Global Forest Goals Report 2021

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    In News 

    According to Global Forest Goals Report 2021, the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has aggravated the challenges faced by countries in managing their forests.

    About Report 

    • The Report has been prepared by the Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations. 
    • It provides an initial overview of the progress of Goals and targets contained within the United Nations Strategic Plan for Forests 2030.
    • The report draws upon 52 voluntary national reports and 19 voluntary national contributions, representing 75 percent of forests in the world.

    Key Findings of the Report 

    Present Contribution of Forest 

    • An estimated 1.6 billion people, or 25% of the global population, rely on forests for their subsistence needs, livelihoods, employment, and income.
    • For centuries, forests have provided socio-economic safety nets for people and communities in times of crises.

    Pressures on forest and its impact

    • Millions of people have turned to forests for their most essential subsistence needs during the COVID-19 pandemic,
    • This has increased pressures on forest systems.
    • The pandemic has left forest-dependent populations facing job loss, reduced income, diminished access to markets and information.
      • Women and youth, in particular, are experiencing a contraction in seasonal employment.
    • Many forest-dependent populations, especially those in remote or hard to reach places, have faced difficulties accessing healthcare or find that government assistance programmes.

    Economic contraction 

    • It is estimated that world gross product fell by an estimated 4.3% in 2020 the sharpest contraction of global output since the Great Depression.
    • Economic contractions, disruptions to global trade and local commerce, and lockdown measures to contain the virus have affected almost 2.7 billion workers, representing approximately 81% of the world’s workforce.

    Inequalities

    • More than just a health crisis, the COVID-19 pandemic is laying bare systemic vulnerabilities and inequalities in every economy and society. 

    Climate change and a biodiversity 

    • These crises are other big threats to forest ecosystems besides the pandemic.
    • The ‘Global Assessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) had highlighted that one million species were at risk of extinction and that 100 million hectares of tropical forest were lost from 1980-2000.
    • 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 per cent 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. 

    Suggestions 

    • The report called for a future course of action that included greater sustainability and a greener and more inclusive economy to tackle the threats of COVID-19, climate change and the biodiversity crisis faced by forests.
    • 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.
    •  We must strengthen our global efforts to protect and restore forests and support the livelihoods of forest-dependent communities. 

      United Nations Strategic Plan for Forests 2030

    • The agreement on the first-ever UN Strategic Plan for Forests was forged at a special session of the UN Forum on Forests held in January 2017 and provides an ambitious vision for global forests in 2030. 
    • The Strategic Plan features a set of six Global Forest Goals and 26 associated targets to be reached by 2030, which are voluntary and universal.
      • It includes a target to increase forest area by 3% worldwide by 2030, signifying an increase of 120 million hectares, an area over twice the size of France.
    • It builds on the vision of the 2030 Agenda and recognizes that real change requires decisive, collective action, within and beyond the UN System.
    • It aims to promote sustainable forest management and enhance the contribution of forests and trees to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

                                            Image Courtesy :UN

    Source:DTH