New York Declaration on Forests

Published: October 13, 2021

The New York Declaration on Forests (NYDF) is a political declaration calling for global action to protect and restore forests. It offers a common, multi-stakeholder framework for forest action, consolidating various initiatives and objectives that drive forest protection, restoration, and sustainable use.

Adopted in 2014 and refreshed in 2021, the NYDF is the major reference point for global forest action. Its ten goals include halting natural forest loss by 2030, restoring 350 million hectares of degraded landscapes and forestlands, improving governance, increasing forest finance, and reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation as part of the Paris Agreement. 

New York Declaration on Forests

Forests are essential to our future. People across the globe depend on forests for food, water, fuel, medicines, traditional cultures and livelihoods. Forests also support up to 80% of terrestrial biodiversity and play a vital role in safeguarding the climate by naturally sequestering carbon.Yet, each year an average of 10 million hectares of forest disappear, often with devastating impacts on Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities. The permanent conversion of forests for the production of agricultural commodities— such as soy, palm oil, beef and paper—accounts for roughly half of global deforestation. Infrastructure, urban expansion, energy, and mining all contribute to and often accelerate deforestation and forest degradation.

We, the endorsers, share the vision of slowing, halting, and reversing global forest loss while simultaneously enhancing food security for all. While progress is being made in many places, overall action has fallen short of the speed, scale, and finance required, including collective action to meet the NYDF goals. The years leading up to 2030 are critical for increasing ambitious, collective, and transformative action to deliver the NYDF goals.

Forests are essential for maintaining life and local livelihoods across the globe. Furthermore, reducing emissions from deforestation and increasing forest restoration is imperative for limiting global warming to 1.5°C. Forests represent one of the largest, most cost-effective climate solutions available today. Action to conserve, sustainably manage and restore forests can contribute to economic growth, poverty alleviation, rule of law, food security, clean water, climate resilience and adaptation, biodiversity conservation, and other ecosystem services. Strong forest governance is essential to protecting and sustainably managing the world’s forests, given Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities are the best defenders and protectors of forests. Centering Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities and traditional knowledge in solutions to address deforestation is essential for delivering the NYDF goals.

With our varying mandates, capabilities, and circumstances, collectively we commit to doing our part to achieve the following outcomes in partnership, including by ensuring that strong, large-scale economic incentives are in place commensurate with the size of the challenge:

  • End the loss and degradation of natural forests by 2030.
  • Reach the private sector goal of eliminating deforestation from the production of agricultural commodities well before 2030, recognizing that many companies have even more ambitious targets.
  • Significantly reduce deforestation and degradation derived from infrastructure development and extractive industries well before 2030. 
  • Support alternatives to deforestation driven by activities such as, subsistence farming and reliance on fuel wood for energy, in ways that reduce poverty and promote sustainable and equitable development that is inclusive of women, youth, and Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities. 
  • Increase global restoration of degraded landscapes and forestlands to restore and maintain 350 million hectares of landscapes and forestlands by 2030.  
  • Support the implementation of actions to achieve forest targets within the Sustainable Development Goals. 
  • Reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation as part of the implementation of the Paris Agreement, in accordance with the goal of not exceeding 1.5C warming.
  • Provide support for the development and implementation strategies and activities to reduce forest emissions.
  • Reward countries and jurisdictions that, by taking action, reduce forest emissions and conserve and enhance forests – particularly through public policies to scale-up payments for verified emission reductions and private-sector sourcing of commodities. 
  • Strengthen forest governance, transparency, and the rule of law while empowering and recognizing the rights of Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities, women, and youth, especially the rights pertaining to their lands and resources. 

Achieving these outcomes could achieve over 7 billion tons (CO2e) of cost-effective climate change mitigation per year by 2030. By working in partnership, we can achieve these collective goals and chart a new course toward conserving, restoring, and managing healthy forests for the benefit of all. We invite others to join us in committing to a world where people and forests grow together.