New Forest Declaration Assessment shows alarming trajectory of forest loss

Posted on October, 24 2022

World is not on track to meet 2030 targets for halting deforestation and restoring degraded land.
The Forest Declaration Assessment (formerly the New York Declaration on Forests Progress Assessment) today released its latest report showing progress toward the global goals of halting deforestation and restoring 350 million hectares of degraded land by 2030. The report shows that not a single global indicator is on track to meet those goals. Deforestation rates globally declined by 6.3% but this is well short of the 10% reduction needed to be on track, and while afforestation and restoration efforts have been commendable, more forest area is being lost than gained. 

Fran Price, WWF Global Forest Practice Lead, said: "The Forest Declaration Assessment sends another warning signal that efforts to halt deforestation are not enough and we’re not on track to achieve our 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. 

We have a window of opportunity in the form of the newly created Forests and Climate Leaders' Partnership, which aims to accelerate implementation of the Glasgow Leaders' Declaration. With the right level of ambition and action, such partnerships can help ensure that deforestation is taken up at the highest level of government and provide solutions to channel and grant access to the finance promised in the Glasgow Leaders' Declaration.

The upcoming UNFCCC climate change conference in Sharm el-Sheikh Egypt and CBD biodiversity conference in Montreal will serve as key moments to take stock of the state of forests. There is no pathway to meeting the 1.5°C target set out in the Paris Agreement or reversing biodiversity loss without halting deforestation and conversion. A crisis is no time for timid, half-hearted measures. It’s a time for bold leadership, and for daring solutions."

WWF is one of 22 Assessment Partners and has contributed to its review. We especially appreciate the inclusion of country examples in the new Forest Declaration Assessment and the concrete guidance for decision-makers and other stakeholders. We recommend that in addition to assessing annual progress on the commitments, in subsequent years, the analysis also includes progress on addressing conversion, including in threats and recommendations.
Aerial view over the rainforest showing transect deforestation
Aerial view over the rainforest showing transect deforestation
© Staffan Widstrand / WWF