Goal Assessments

What progress has been made in the past year to implement each of the ten goals of the NYDF? Key findings from the 2019 NYDF Progress Assessment are presented below.

Goal 1

At least halve the rate of loss of natural forests globally by 2020 and strive to end natural forest loss by 2030

Key messages

Instead of slowing down, the global rate of gross tree cover loss has increased by 43 percent from an average loss of 18.3 million hectares per year before the NYDF to 26.1 million hectares per year after the NYDF.

Particularly concerning is the loss of primary forest, which are, by definition, irreplaceable and act as invaluable carbon sinks.

Latin America still loses the most tree cover per year, but West Africa has recently experienced a sharp increase in the rate of loss. Of the ten countries with the highest absolute amounts of tropical primary forest loss on average, four are in Latin America (Brazil, Bolivia, Colombia, Peru), three in Asia (Indonesia, Malaysia, Cambodia), two in Africa (Democratic Republic of Congo and Madagascar), and one in Oceania (Papua New Guinea).

The rate of deforestation in Indonesia went down significantly in 2017 and 2018, by more than 30 percent. A combination of factors contributed: actions taken by government (e.g. peat moratorium), the private sector, and civil society organizations – but also wetter weather conditions, which helped reduce fires. A new wave of fires in July and August 2019 is putting the recent policies to the test.

Findings

Rate of forest loss

Criterion 1. The global rate of gross tree cover loss has increased by 43 percent since pre-2014 levels.

Carbon dioxide emissions from forest loss

Criterion 2. Average forest emissions are 56 percent higher than pre-NYDF levels, increasing from 3.0 to 4.6 gigatons of CO2 per year

Assessment

Goal 1 Update: 2018 Progress Assessment

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Assessment

Goal 1 Update: 2017 Progress Assessment

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Goal 2

Support and help meet the private-sector goal of eliminating deforestation from the production of agricultural commodities such as palm oil, soy, paper, and beef products by no later than 2020, recognizing that many companies have even more ambitious targets

Key Messages

Deforestation will not be eliminated from the production of agricultural commodities by 2020.

In general, company commitments are too weak to be effective – for example, for example, not covering all of the company’s supply chains.

Companies don’t report enough on actions taken and progress made toward achieving their commitments. Of the 350 influential companies assessed by the Global Canopy, 50 companies have taken some action to achieve their commitments but no companies report on all of these actions. Without transparency, there can’t be accountability. 

The most advanced and successful interventions to address deforestation have been sector-wide efforts, such as a soy moratorium in the Brazilian Amazon; a suite of public and private efforts to protect peatlands in Indonesia; and demand-side timber regulations.

Jurisdictional approaches – public-private collaborative actions at the jurisdictional level - in many producer countries are coming online. However, the implementation of these approaches is still in the early stages and their impact on deforestation from agriculture is yet to be seen. 

Findings

Forest-related commitments

Criterion 1. Only a small share of companies have a robust and ambitious commitment to end deforestation that sets verifiable, time-bound targets and covers all supply chains, sourcing regions, and suppliers.

Implementation of commitments

Criterion 2. There is incremental progress in implementing commitments across the commodity supply chains, but considerable gaps remain.

Demonstration of progress toward commitment

Criterion 3. Very few companies report on their progress toward achieving their deforestation-free supply-chain goals.

Enabling environment

Criterion 4. Two thirds of financial institutions do not have forest-specific commitments; governments are slowly implementing supply- and demand-side measures.

Commitment impact

Criterion 5. Efforts to improve forest monitoring have yielded new tools that can enable measuring deforestation from the production of specific agricultural commodities and help to assess the progress of supply chain efforts.

Assessment

Goal 2 Update: 2018 Progress Assessment

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Assessment

Goal 2 Update: 2017 Progress Assessment

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Focus Report

Eliminating Deforestation from the Production of Agricul

1.5MB

Summary

Executive Summary: Goal 2 Assessment Report 2016

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Assessment

Goal 2 Update: 2015 Progress Assessment

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Goal 3

Significantly reduce deforestation derived from other economic sectors by 2020

Key Messages

Mining, extraction, and infrastructure pose clear risks for forests. Over a quarter (27%) of global forest area overlaps with the 50-kilometer buffer zones of forest mines (where forest loss is mostly likely to occur).

Economic development models that rely on infrastructure development and resource extraction are difficult to reconcile with the need to protect and restore forest areas due to differing priorities amongst key actors. This puts forests at risk. Plans and current construction to build new infrastructure through intact and biodiversity-rich forests will redraw global maps.

There is an ongoing trend of changing the status of protected areas to facilitate new infrastructure development. Forest areas in the Amazon, the Congo Basin, and Indonesia are particularly at risk for deforestation and fragmentation.

High-level support for mainstreaming forest and biodiversity protection across economic sectors has grown - Recent years have seen an increase in high-level support for protecting forests and biodiversity from destruction due to economic activities, as evidenced by the adoption a long-term strategy to mainstream biodiversity management into economic sectors such as mining, energy, and infrastructure at the UN Biodiversity Conference in November 2018.

Communities are pushing back against extractive activities and major infrastructure projects – including indigenous communities in South and Central America. These movements are gaining international recognition and winning some legal victories, even as the mining sector is responsible for the most killings of environmental defenders in 2018.

Findings

Risks to forests from non-agricultural sectors

Mining and extraction activities projected to increase with demand

The mitigation hierarchy

Infrastructure booms lead to degradation and forest fragmentation

Protected area downgrading, downsizing, and degazettement

Trend of backtracking on environmental advances

Opposing priorities

Limited progress in effectively implementing financial sector safeguards for forests

Private sector initiatives

Renewed efforts around transparency and sustainability in the mining sector, but impact remains to be seen

Policies

Countries and companies increasingly rely on offsets to compensate for biodiversity losses

Protests

Community-led protests pushing back against extractive growth models

Assessment

Goal 3 Update: 2018 Progress Assessment

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Assessment

Goal 3 Update: 2017 Progress Assessment

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Assessment

Goals 1-10 Updates: 2016 Progress Assessment

1.5MB

Assessment

Goal 3 Update: 2015 Progress Assessment

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Goal 4

Support alternatives to deforestation driven by basic needs (such as subsistence farming and reliance on fuel wood for energy) in ways that alleviate poverty and promote sustainable and equitable development

Key Messages

Poverty and a lack of livelihood alternatives underlie deforestation driven by basic needs.

To be effective, forest conservation measures have to address poverty as well.

Wood harvesting (primarily for woodfuel) and small-scale crop production (e.g. swidden agriculture) are the two most common basic-needs activities which may have a negative impact on forests. These activities often lead to forest degradation, rather than deforestation, which makes impacts more difficult to observe and measure.

A lack of livelihood alternatives and increased population pressures (from both migration and population growth) are important socioeconomic factors that can trigger unsustainable forest use to meet basic needs. Each of these factors can lead to an expansion in agricultural land, which is the most significant cause of basic-needs deforestation.

Vulnerable populations often operate in informal sectors. Because over 70 percent of small-scale miners operate in the informal sector, efforts to reduce environmental impacts from this activity often focus on formalization. Interventions to formalize these sectors can inadvertently harm populations.

Artisanal and small-scale mining can be another significant source of forest loss in certain areas, causing, for example, over 50,000 hectares of deforestation in the Peruvian Amazon since 2011. At the same time, small-scale mining is a source of livelihood or support for over 150 million men, women, and children around the world.

Findings

Definitions

Defining the basic-needs activities that drive deforestation and forest degradation

Indirect drivers

Poverty, inequality, and migration act as indirect drivers of basic needs-driven deforestation and forest degradation

Formalization

Tackling informality to reduce forest loss requires multi-pronged interventions

Clean cooking

The clean cooking sector adopts new approaches to reduce woodfuel reliance

Funding alternatives

Budget allocations for basic-needs alternatives through REDD+ show some promise, but most funding remains to be distributed

Data developments

Partners such as Imaflora and the Clean Cooking Alliance are adding robust data to assess alternatives to deforestation driven by basic needs

Assessment

Goal 4 Update: 2018 Progress Assessment

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Assessment

Goal 4 Update: 2017 Progress Assessment

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Assessment

Goals 1-10 Update: 2016 Progress Assessment

1.5MB

Assessment

Goal 4 Update: 2015 Progress Assessment

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Empowerment of Forest-Linked Communities: What Progress

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Goal 5

Restore 150 million hectares of degraded landscapes and forestlands by 2020 and significantly increase the rate of global restoration thereafter, which would restore at least an additional 200 million hectares by 2030

Key Messages

Progress on the implementation of forest landscape restoration has been mixed. 

Pledges under the Bonn Challenge totaling 170.6 million hectares indicate significant political will to restore landscapes. However, only a small amount of restoration has been reported, and data limitations make progress difficult to quantify.

A systematic global literature review found that only 18 percent of the 2020 goal (26.7 Mha of forests) are documented to have undergone restoration since 2000.

An in-depth analysis of the Mekong region using satellite data reveals that most restoration in the area since 2010 has taken place outside of forests; tree cover is increasing on croplands, shrublands, and other non-forest land uses at a higher rate (75 percent) than inside forests (25 percent). Furthermore, deforestation in the Mekong region has continued at a higher pace than forest restoration, amounting to an overall net loss of natural forests (-0.3 Mha).

These results indicate that we are not on track to meet the 2020 goals, and greater efforts are needed to protect and restore natural forests and the important forest ecosystem functions they supply (e.g. biodiversity and carbon sequestration).

Findings

Rate of forest cover and tree cover gain (hectares established over time)

Criterion 1. Since 2000, approximately 26.7 million hectares of forest landscapes have undergone restoration, yet only 3.1 million hectares are under restoration since 2011, and 235,700 hectares since 2014

Forest landscape restoration efforts (political and socio-economic advancements)

Criterion 2. Bringing degraded land into restoration to create diverse and lasting benefits often requires transformative processes including policy change, increasing financial resources, and strengthening national implementation and monitoring capacities.

Assessment

Goal 5 Update: 2019 Five-Year Assessment

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Assessment

Goal 5 Update: 2018 Progress Assessment

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Assessment

Goal 5 Update: 2017 Progress Assessment

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Goal 6

Include ambitious, quantitative forest conservation and restoration targets for 2030 in the post-2015 global development framework as part of new international sustainable development goals

Key Messages

Goal 6 has been achieved through the inclusion of forests in the targets and indicators of the ambitious Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted by United Nations’ member states in 2015. The SDGs were adopted in September 2015, less than one year after the endorsement of the New York Declaration on Forests, by the member states of the United Nations.

Findings

Adoption of forest-related targets in Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Criterion 1. The SDGs include forests, with targets consistent with the NYDF’s aim to halt deforestation.

Assessment

Goal 6 Update: 2018 Progress Assessment

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Assessment

Goal 6 Update: 2017 Progress Assessment

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Assessment

Goals 1-10 Updates: 2016 Progress Assessment

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Assessment

Goal 6 Update: 2015 Progress Assessment

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Goal 7

Agree in 2015 to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation as part of a post-2020 global climate agreement, in accordance with internationally agreed rules and consistent with the goal of not exceeding 2° Celsius warming

Key Messages

In the context of the NYDF, Goal 7 has been achieved. The Paris Agreement, which entered into force in November 2016, includes a full article (Article 5) dedicated to land use and forests, solidifying the role of forests and other carbon sinks in achieving its overall mitigation goal.

Findings

Implementing land-use provisions of the Paris Agreement

Criterion 1. Countries are now working to operationalize Article 5 of the Paris Agreement.

References to land use in nationally determined contributions

Criterion 2. The majority of countries have proposed a quantified emission mitigation target in their NDCs that includes land use.

Assessment

Goal 7 Update: 2018 Progress Assessment

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Assessment

Goal 7 Update: 2017 Progress Assessment

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Assessment

Goals 1-10 Updates: 2016 Progress Assessment

1.5MB

Assessment

Goal 7 Update: 2015 Progress Assessment

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Goal 8

Provide support for the development and implementation of strategies to reduce forest emissions

Key Messages

Finance still has to shift from baseline, business-as-usual investments to support investments with clear conservation goals, or at least backed by strong safeguards.

Ending deforestation depends on fundamentally realigning incentives.

Green finance is only a fraction of the amount of grey finance flowing into countries with high levels of deforestation. For example, development finance for agriculture amounts to 15 times more than climate mitigation finance with a forestry objective.

Companies and governments continue to provide subsidies and support to activities that potentially harm forests. Financial institutions and lenders lack the safeguards to ensure that investments and finance are sustainable.

Investments in stopping deforestation in tropical countries comprise less than 1.5 percent of the support committed by multilateral institutions and developed country donors since 2010 to climate change mitigation (only USD 3.2 billion out of USD 256 billion). The renewables sector alone has received over 100 times more commitments of finance than forests.

Findings

Public support for the development and implementation of strategies to reduce forest emissions

Criterion 1. Public finance plays a key role in reducing forest emissions by supporting research and capacity building, providing direct incentives for the protection of forests, and aiding the mobilization of private investment.

Private investment targeted at reducing forest emissions

Criterion 2. Few financial institutions place mandatory restrictions on companies with operations in forest-risk commodities.

Assessment

Goal 8 Update: 2018 Progress Assessment

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Focus Report

Finance for Forests: Goals 8 and 9 Assessment Report, 20

4.5MB

Summary

Executive Summary: Finance for Forests

2.7MB

Assessment

Goal 8 Update: 2017 Progress Assessment

273KB

Assessment

Goals 1-10 Updates: 2016 Progress Assessment

1.5MB

Assessment

Goal 8 Update: 2015 Progress Assessment

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Goal 9

Reward countries and jurisdictions that, by taking action, reduce forest emissions—particularly through public policies to scale-up payments for verified emission reductions and private-sector sourcing of commodities

Key Messages

Nearly USD 4.7 billion of results-based finance for verified emissions reductions has been committed by bilateral or multilateral sources since 2010. About one third (35%) of payments have been disbursed or announced – mostly by Norway to Brazil.

Landmark payments for verified results have been announced, but commitments and other agreements lag. This includes two landmark payment announcements in 2019:

1) Payment from the Green Climate Fund for deforestation-related emissions reductions in Brazil was confirmed. Nearly USD 100 million will be paid to Brazil over the course of six years for results achieved in the Amazon biome from 2014 to 2016. In reaction to the lack of will by the new Brazilian government to continue policies to stop deforestation, Norway and Germany put payments to support Brazil for efforts related to slowing deforestation on hold in August 2019.

2) It was also announced that the first results-based payments would be made to Indonesia for their reductions in carbons emissions from deforestation in 2017. It is estimated this will amount to USD 20 million. Norway, who pledged up to USD 1 billion to Indonesia in 2010, has guaranteed compensation for 4.8 million tons CO2. About 13 percent of the total pledge has been spent so far in support of the efforts of the Indonesian government to address deforestation.

Findings

Public payments for verified emission reductions

Criterion 1. Results-based REDD+ payments incentivize countries and jurisdictions to take actions and deliver results and are made through a number of funding pipelines to countries achieving quantifiable and verifiable forest emission reductions.

Support for supply chain efforts to incentivize reduced forest emissions

Criterion 2. Actors from across sectors are increasingly turning to jurisdictional approaches to implement supply chain commitments while avoiding potential leakage and efficiently scaling implementation.

Assessment

Goal 9 Update: 2018 Progress Assessment

366KB

Focus Report

Finance for Forests: Goals 8 and 9 Progress Assessment,

4.5MB

Summary

Executive Summary: Finance for Forests

2.7MB

Assessment

Goal 9 Update: 2017 Progress Assessment

125KB

Assessment

Goals 1-10 Updates: 2016 Progress Assessment

1.5MB

Assessment

Goal 9 Update: 2015 Progress Assessment

478KB

Goal 10

Strengthen forest governance, transparency, and the rule of law, while also empowering communities and recognizing the rights of indigenous peoples, especially those pertaining to their lands and resources

Key Messages

Poor forest governance correlates with high deforestation and enables illegal activity. Almost half of all tropical deforestation in recent decades was due to the illegal conversion of forests for commercial agriculture..

Demand-side measures play an important role in achieving sustainable supply chains. International pledges have been made to eliminate imported deforestation from commodity supply chains but so far only the timber sector has seen concrete actions and regulatory measures adopted.

Communities protect forests but lack fully secure tenure and rights. When Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities have full land rights to govern forest territories, these forests are better protected over time. Yet their land rights are not fully recognized and protected. 

These communities also face harassment, criminalization, and violence in land use conflicts. At least 164 forest and land defenders were killed in 2018.

Empowerment strengthens forest defenders. Community empowerment can come from strength-in-numbers - through forest and farm producer organizations, which serve as vehicles for broader political participation, along with increasing the economic security of their members - and participation on the global stage - like through the Local Communities and Indigenous Peoples’ Platform launched at COP24.

Findings

Governance, the rule of law, and forest-related crime

Criterion 1. Countries with weak forest laws and policies, insufficient enforcement, and high levels of corruption experience higher rates of deforestation than countries with stronger legal frameworks and institutions.

Transparency, participation, and access to justice

Criterion 2. Several countries are implementing measures and mechanisms to improve transparency. While most forest countries allow for forest consultations, few guarantee equal participation of women.

Empowering and ensuring the rights of indigenous peoples and local communities

Criterion 3. Recognition of indgenous peoples' rights is growing at the international level, but national progress is mixed.

Goal 10: A Closer Look

Strengthening Forest Governance Frameworks: Progress in

920KB

Goal 10: A Closer Look

Empowerment of Forest-Linked Communities: What Progress

900KB

Goal 10: A Closer Look

Held, Legally Recognized, Documented, and Not-Recognized

1.2MB

Focus Report

Improving Governance to Protect Forests: Empowering Peop

4.3MB

Improving Governance to Protect Forests: Briefing Paper

2.8MB

Assessment

Goals 1-10 Updates: 2016 Progress Assessment

1.5MB

Assessment

Goal 10 Update: 2015 Progress Assessment

670KB

NYDF Assessment Partners
 Environmental Defense Fund
 Forest Trends
 Instituto de Manejo e Certificação Florestal e Agrícola
 International Union for Conservation of Nature
 Stockholm Environment Institute
 The Sustainability Consortium
 Zoological Society of London’s Sustainability Policy Transparency Toolkit initiative
CDP
Center for International Forestry Research
Chatham House
Clean Cooking Alliance
Climate Focus
Conservation International
Forest Foundation Philippines
Global Canopy
Institute for Global Environmental Strategies
National Wildlife Federation
Overseas Development Institute
Rainforest Alliance
Rights and Resources Initiative
The International Center for Tropical Agriculture
The Nature Conservancy
Woods Hole Research Center
World Resources Institute
World Wildlife Fund US