Theme 1: Assessing progress towards overarching forest goals

The overarching forest goals that we assess are:  
  1. ending the loss and degradation of natural forests by 2030, and  
  2. restoring 350 million hectares of degraded landscapes and forestlands by 2030.  

To track progress toward these overarching goals, the Assessment Partners use indicators of gross deforestation, humid tropical forest loss, emissions from forests, forest landscape integrity, and tree cover gain. 

The assessment framework for Theme 1 builds on previous New York Declaration on Forests Goal 1 and Goal 5 indicators.

Are we on track?

As of 2022, not a single global indicator was on track to meet the 2030 goals of stopping forest loss and degradation and restoring 350 million hectares of forest landscapes. Global deforestation decreased modestly by 6.3% in 2021, falling short of reductions needed to be on track to halt deforestation and degradation by 2030 and limit climate change to 1.5°C. To be on course to halt deforestation completely by 2030, a 10 percent reduction is needed every year. Tropical Asia is the only region currently on track to halt deforestation by 2030, based largely on progress in Indonesia and Malaysia. From 2000 to 2020, 36 countries achieved gains in forest cover through restoration and afforestation. However, overall losses exceeded gains over the same period, resulting in a net loss of 100 million hectares globally. 

Global deforestation rate by region over the 2010-2021 period, in million hectares, and the pathway to reach the 2030 gross zero target from the 2018-2020 baseline

Source: Figure based on original analysis for this report using data from Hansen et al. 2013. 

Note: The data referring to 'Other regions' are used here for reference, to highlight that the bulk of deforestation takes place in only two global regions. The data before and after 2015 are not directly comparable, as the methodology to detect the tree cover loss has been improved and may result in higher estimates of loss for recent years compared to earlier years, although this does not affect the assessment of progress since 2020.