During the second day of the Definitive Climate Summit, at the Key Leaders’ Event on Forests and Land Use, important names from different sectors including presidents, indigenous leaders, bankers and representatives of large private companies, announced a long list of commitments to fight climate change, stop the destruction of biodiversity, end hunger and protect the rights of indigenous peoples.

“By destroying forests, we damage biodiversity and our lives … Forests provide fresh water, purify the air we breathe, inspire spiritual value and provide us with food … Our challenge now is to be to stop deforestation and start restoring the forests. It’s a huge undertaking and each country will need its own approach to the table, ”was the message conveyed through a short film narrated by the iconic voice of Sir David Attenborough which opened Glasgow on Tuesday 2 November.

Message from Indigenous Peoples

“We will be looking for concrete evidence of a transformation in the way funds are invested. If 80% of what is proposed aims to support the territorial rights and the proposals of the indigenous and local communities, we will see a radical change in the current trend which destroys our natural resources ”, declared the spokesperson of the Coordination des indigenous organizations. from the Amazon Basin (COICA), Tuntiak Katak.

They highlighted that indigenous peoples are the custodians of at least 36% of the planet’s protected and healthy forests, showing that when local people are empowered in this direction, resources are better protected and managed.

Tuntiak Katak, addressing the room in Spanish, indicated that they are ready to act and to work together. He ended by saying that “we are all traveling in the same canoe in the basin”.

COP26 Leaders’ Statement on Forests and Land Use

Committed to halting and reversing deforestation by 2030, at least 110 countries, which account for 85% of the world’s forests, including absent Russia and Brazil, have signed the fundamental declaration.

“Signing the Declaration is the easiest part. It is essential that it is implemented now for people and the planet, ”urged UN chief António Guterres on his official Twitter account.

What is the statement?

In the text, the leaders promise to strengthen their joint efforts to conserve forests and other terrestrial ecosystems, accelerate their restoration and facilitate sustainable trade and development policies.

It also highlights the empowerment of local communities, including indigenous people, who are often negatively affected by logging and forest degradation. It also seeks to implement and redesign agricultural policies to reduce hunger and benefit the environment.

The leaders pledged to facilitate financial flows with international targets to reverse loss and degradation, and accelerate the transition to a greener economy.

Over the past decade, about 40 times more funds have been spent on destructive land use practices than on the protection, conservation and sustainable agriculture of forests.

The pledge signed by more than 30 financial entities, covering more than $ 8.7 billion in global assets under management, aims to reduce funds allocated to destructive land use practices and move towards sustainable production.

Bezos’ commitment

“Nature is beautiful, but it is also fragile. I was reminded of this in July when I went to space with Blue Origin. They told me that seeing Earth from space changes the lens through which the world is viewed, but I was not prepared for what would be true, ”said Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon, during the COP26.

The philanthropist also announced that the Bezos Earth Fund will allocate $ 2 billion, in addition to the $ 1 billion announced in September, to help restore nature and transform food systems.

He ended with a commitment to work hand in hand with other organizations to give the children of the world what he called “the betterment of the natural world”.

Launch of important initiatives

  • Innovative Funding for the Amazon, Cerrado and Chacho (“IFACC”) will announce $ 3 billion to accelerate efforts to ensure soybean and livestock production does not exacerbate deforestation conditions in South America .
  • The Natural Capital Investment Alliance of the Sustainable Markets Initiative (“NCIA”), an organization founded by the Prince of Wales to stimulate private investment in natural capital, has announced 12 new members and plans to raise $ 10 billion in capital -investment by the end of 2022..
  • The Forest Finance Acceleration Emissions Reduction Coalition (LEAF), which includes large companies such as Delta, PWC, Airbnb and Unilever, will guarantee an initial amount of $ 1 billion in public and private funds. These resources will accelerate funding for countries that succeed in reducing emissions from deforestation, provided these reductions have been independently verified and confirmed. Only companies that have already committed to reducing emissions in their own supply chains will provide this funding.

The message from the world’s banks

Through a joint declaration by nine multilateral development banks, including the World Bank, support for the measures was announced.

They also pledged to integrate environmental protection into their investment portfolio and into political dialogue with countries.

America’s ambitious commitment

Pledging to ensure free water, maintain biodiversity, protect indigenous communities and reduce the risk of the spread of disease, United States President Joe Biden opened his speech.

Biden said his administration was already working to restore 20 million hectares of forest land and announced the creation of a new plan to support stopping deforestation and restoring carbon sinks.

The United States has also pledged to support the restoration of 200 million hectares of forests by 2030.

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