This session will deepen the dialogue and learn from innovative solutions on how redirecting private capitals toward “deforestation-free” commodity production that promote sustainable land-use and forest protection, while meeting current and future challenges in relation to poverty, food security, climate and environmental issues.
Forests have strong capabilities to sequester carbon, purify water and protect biodiversity. Natural carbon sinks sequester more than half of the amount of CO2 humans emit into the atmosphere annually. Sustainable land-use could contribute approximately to 30% of the climate change solution by increasing conservation, restoration and sustainable land use management.
World leaders recognized the need to intensify restoration efforts in 2011 by backing the world’s largest restoration initiative. The Bonn Challenge aims to bring 150 million hectares of degraded landscapes into restoration by 2020. In 2014, leaders meeting in New York called for the restoration of an additional 200 million hectares by 2030, a target incorporated into the Bonn Challenge. As of 2018, more than 50 countries and other entities have committed to bringing more than 160 million hectares into restoration. Based on case studies of five countries, Bonn Challenge Barometer of Progress: Spotlight Report 2017 provides a snapshot of 13.4 million hectares restored in the five countries, which is around 42% of the pledged area.
However, we are still not on track to meet the goal of halving natural forest loss globally by 2020, and this part of the solution receives too little funding to date. Most of the funding pledged to combat deforestation and forest degradation has come from public sources. Less than 3 per cent of public climate finance investments have been directed into agriculture, forestry, land-use, and natural resource management so far. There is a large gap between the amount of funding required to tackle deforestation and restore degraded land and the amounts available. Therefore, capital from private sectors, including agriculture producers, traders, and financiers, are vital to be channeled to finance restoration.
Over the past years, UN Environment has increasingly advocated for the need to scale up public and especially private investment into sustainable land use. It has supported a range of vehicles aimed at de-risking private capital as a means to ‘kick start’ the transition towards sustainable commodity production. These include the &Green Fund, Tropical Landscape Finance Facility and a recently set-up up fund called Agri3. What are the lessons learnt to date? What constraints need to be overcome to speed up the process?