Voluntary declarations such as the NYDF are based on the premise that strong overall targets will lead endorsers and partners to step forward and formulate concrete implementation actions and plans. The NYDF Progress Assessment monitors whether this is indeed happening, and how effective actions have been in achieving the NYDF goals. Because many of the NYDF goals include targets to be achieved by 2020, next year will serve as a logical, and necessary, point to review and revitalize the NYDF goals. The information that the NYDF Assessment Partners collect and publish every year will support this process in the hope that the 2030 forests goals can be met through a coordinated and collaborative effort of governments, corporations, and civil society.
The NYDF Progress Assessment is an iterative and collective process. Partners and collaborators participate in working groups for individual goals or topics. These working groups develop and revise goal-specific assessment frameworks. They also coordinate data generation and analysis and discuss findings. Where possible, new research is commissioned to close essential data gaps. In addition, the assessment findings benefit from the peer review of dozens of experts from all over the world.
Finally, while the NYDF has a set of endorsers, the NYDF Progress Assessment does not focus on evaluating the individual or collective progress of NYDF endorsers. Instead it evaluates the global status of forests and overall efforts to meet the NYDF goals. Since its adoption the NYDF has become a reference point for the status of forests in general, and tropical forests in particular. It has also come to represent a broadly accepted international framework of forest goals. As such, our progress assessment takes a global view and highlights specific regions or activities through case studies and examples.
The history of the NYDF Progress Assessment
The NYDF Progress Assessment is released every year. It includes (1) an in-depth report looking at progress on a selected goal (or set of goals) and (2) brief updates on all ten of the goals.
In 2015, the first edition of the NYDF Progress Assessment proposed a framework and respective indicators for measuring progress toward all ten goals and offered an initial assessment on the status of progress toward their achievement. In 2016, the second edition of the report focused on Goal 2, eliminating deforestation from agricultural commodity supply chains, building on the 2015 NYDF Assessment Framework and Initial Report. It was met with an overall positive response and widespread media coverage (including Reuters, NPR, and Politico). The third edition of the report, released in October 2017, provided a deep analysis of Goals 8 and 9 of the NYDF - looking at the financial support provided to forest emission reduction strategies (Goal 8), and rewards for action (Goal 9).
The fourth edition of the NYDF Progress Assessment was launched in November 2018. It focused on forest governance, the rule of law, and the empowerment of communities and indigenous peoples (Goal 10). The 2018 progress assessment of Goals 1-9, launched in September, showed that natural forests continue to disappear at an alarming rate since the NYDF was adopted in 2014.
The fifth edition of the NYDF Progress Assessment was released in 2019, taking stock of overall progress on the fifth anniversary of the launch of the NYDF. The in-depth report this year highlights progress toward stopping deforestation (Goal 1) and implementing restoration (Goal 5), while tracking the development of all ten goals to present an overall picture of progress.