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Forests in the climate change agenda

Published by: FAO


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Where do forests and forestry stand today in international climate change negotiations? What exactly does it mean to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+)? What are the opportunities and risks for forests in today’s changing climate and is there a clear path forward? The articles in this issue address these and other questions.

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General Information

SDGs Goal 13: Climate action Goal 15: Life on land
Published
2016
Thematic Area
Sustainability
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Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts

There is no country in the world that is not seeing first-hand the drastic effects of climate change. Greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise, and are now more than 50 percent higher than their 1990 level. Further, global warming is causing long-lasting changes to our climate system, which threatens irreversible consequences if we do not take action now.

The annual average losses from just earthquakes, tsunamis, tropical cyclones and flooding count in the hundreds of billions of dollars, requiring an investment of US$ 6 billion annually in disaster risk management alone. The goal aims to mobilize $100 billion annually by 2020 to address the needs of developing countries and help mitigate climate-related disasters.

Strengthening the resilience and adaptive capacity of more vulnerable regions, such as land locked countries and island states, must go hand in hand with efforts to raise awareness and integrate measures into national policies and strategies. It is still possible, with the political will and a wide array of technological measures, to limit the increase in global mean temperature to two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. This requires urgent collective action.

Addressing climate change is one of 17 Global Goals that make up the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. An integrated approach is crucial for progress across the multiple goals.

Learn more about the targets for Goal 13.

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Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts

There is no country in the world that is not seeing first-hand the drastic effects of climate change. Greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise, and are now more than 50 percent higher than their 1990 level. Further, global warming is causing long-lasting changes to our climate system, which threatens irreversible consequences if we do not take action now.

The annual average losses from just earthquakes, tsunamis, tropical cyclones and flooding count in the hundreds of billions of dollars, requiring an investment of US$ 6 billion annually in disaster risk management alone. The goal aims to mobilize $100 billion annually by 2020 to address the needs of developing countries and help mitigate climate-related disasters.

Strengthening the resilience and adaptive capacity of more vulnerable regions, such as land locked countries and island states, must go hand in hand with efforts to raise awareness and integrate measures into national policies and strategies. It is still possible, with the political will and a wide array of technological measures, to limit the increase in global mean temperature to two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. This requires urgent collective action.

Addressing climate change is one of 17 Global Goals that make up the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. An integrated approach is crucial for progress across the multiple goals.

Learn more about the targets for Goal 13.

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The SDG Fund response

The SDG Fund joint programmes take into account climate change adaptation considerations along the project cycle. As an example, a key element to mainstreaming climate change is the use of a climate lens.

The following criteria are essential elements observed:

  • The extent to which the policy, plan, or project under could be vulnerable to risks arising from climate variability and change
  • The extent to which climate change risks have already been taken into consideration
  • The extent to which the policy, plan, or project could inadvertently lead to increased vulnerability and maladaptation or miss important opportunities arising from climate change

For example,

  • In Cuba, the SDG Fund is strengthening resilience and improving access to water in tackling the impacts of recent droughts, noted as the worst in recent history, affecting more than one million people.
  • In Fiji, a SDG Fund programme is building the capacity of young farmers in organic agriculture for climate resilience.  Organic agriculture is a production system that sustains the health of soils, ecosystems and people.
  • In Mozambique, the SDG Fund is providing training opportunities on green construction using traditional techniques and materials. The objective is to create residences that are less expensive while also preserving the environment.
[format] => full_html [safe_value] =>

The SDG Fund response

The SDG Fund joint programmes take into account climate change adaptation considerations along the project cycle. As an example, a key element to mainstreaming climate change is the use of a climate lens.

The following criteria are essential elements observed:

  • The extent to which the policy, plan, or project under could be vulnerable to risks arising from climate variability and change
  • The extent to which climate change risks have already been taken into consideration
  • The extent to which the policy, plan, or project could inadvertently lead to increased vulnerability and maladaptation or miss important opportunities arising from climate change

For example,

  • In Cuba, the SDG Fund is strengthening resilience and improving access to water in tackling the impacts of recent droughts, noted as the worst in recent history, affecting more than one million people.
  • In Fiji, a SDG Fund programme is building the capacity of young farmers in organic agriculture for climate resilience.  Organic agriculture is a production system that sustains the health of soils, ecosystems and people.
  • In Mozambique, the SDG Fund is providing training opportunities on green construction using traditional techniques and materials. The objective is to create residences that are less expensive while also preserving the environment.
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  • Strengthen resilience and adaptive capacity to climate-related hazards and natural disasters in all countries
  • Integrate climate change measures into national policies, strategies and planning
  • Improve education, awareness-raising and human and institutional capacity on climate change mitigation, adaptation, impact reduction and early warning
  • Implement the commitment undertaken by developed-country parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change to a goal of mobilizing jointly $100 billion annually by 2020 from all sources to address the needs of developing countries in the context of meaningful mitigation actions and transparency on implementation and fully operationalize the Green Climate Fund through its capitalization as soon as possible
  • Promote mechanisms for raising capacity for effective climate change-related planning and management in least developed countries and small island developing States, including focusing on women, youth and local and marginalized communities

* Acknowledging that the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change is the primary international, intergovernmental forum for negotiating the global response to climate change.

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  • Strengthen resilience and adaptive capacity to climate-related hazards and natural disasters in all countries
  • Integrate climate change measures into national policies, strategies and planning
  • Improve education, awareness-raising and human and institutional capacity on climate change mitigation, adaptation, impact reduction and early warning
  • Implement the commitment undertaken by developed-country parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change to a goal of mobilizing jointly $100 billion annually by 2020 from all sources to address the needs of developing countries in the context of meaningful mitigation actions and transparency on implementation and fully operationalize the Green Climate Fund through its capitalization as soon as possible
  • Promote mechanisms for raising capacity for effective climate change-related planning and management in least developed countries and small island developing States, including focusing on women, youth and local and marginalized communities

* Acknowledging that the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change is the primary international, intergovernmental forum for negotiating the global response to climate change.

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Sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, halt and reverse land degradation, halt biodiversity loss

Human life depends on the earth as much as the ocean for our sustenance and livelihood. Plant life provides 80 percent of our human diet, and we rely on agriculture as an important economic resource and means of development. Forests account for 30 percent of the Earth’s surface, providing vital habitats for millions of species and important sources for clean air and water; as well as being crucial for combating climate change.

Today we are seeing unprecedented land degradation, and the loss of arable land at 30 to 35 times the historical rate. Drought and desertification is also on the rise each year, amounting to the loss of 12 million hectares and affects poor communities globally. Of the 8,300 animal breeds known, 8 percent are extinct and 22 percent are at risk of extinction.

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) aim to conserve and restore the use of terrestrial ecosystems such as forests, wetlands, drylands and mountains by 2020. Promoting the sustainable management of forests and halting deforestations is also vital to mitigating the impact of climate change. Urgent action must be taken to reduce the loss of natural habitats and biodiversity which are part of our common heritage.

Conserving forests and other ecosystems is one of 17 Global Goals that make up the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. An integrated approach is crucial for progress across the multiple goals.

Learn more about the targets for Goal 15.

[format] => full_html [safe_value] =>

Sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, halt and reverse land degradation, halt biodiversity loss

Human life depends on the earth as much as the ocean for our sustenance and livelihood. Plant life provides 80 percent of our human diet, and we rely on agriculture as an important economic resource and means of development. Forests account for 30 percent of the Earth’s surface, providing vital habitats for millions of species and important sources for clean air and water; as well as being crucial for combating climate change.

Today we are seeing unprecedented land degradation, and the loss of arable land at 30 to 35 times the historical rate. Drought and desertification is also on the rise each year, amounting to the loss of 12 million hectares and affects poor communities globally. Of the 8,300 animal breeds known, 8 percent are extinct and 22 percent are at risk of extinction.

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) aim to conserve and restore the use of terrestrial ecosystems such as forests, wetlands, drylands and mountains by 2020. Promoting the sustainable management of forests and halting deforestations is also vital to mitigating the impact of climate change. Urgent action must be taken to reduce the loss of natural habitats and biodiversity which are part of our common heritage.

Conserving forests and other ecosystems is one of 17 Global Goals that make up the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. An integrated approach is crucial for progress across the multiple goals.

Learn more about the targets for Goal 15.

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  • By 2020, ensure the conservation, restoration and sustainable use of terrestrial and inland freshwater ecosystems and their services, in particular forests, wetlands, mountains and drylands, in line with obligations under international agreements
  • By 2020, promote the implementation of sustainable management of all types of forests, halt deforestation, restore degraded forests and substantially increase afforestation and reforestation globally
  • By 2030, combat desertification, restore degraded land and soil, including land affected by desertification, drought and floods, and strive to achieve a land degradation-neutral world
  • By 2030, ensure the conservation of mountain ecosystems, including their biodiversity, in order to enhance their capacity to provide benefits that are essential for sustainable development
  • Take urgent and significant action to reduce the degradation of natural habitats, halt the loss of biodiversity and, by 2020, protect and prevent the extinction of threatened species
  • Promote fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising from the utilization of genetic resources and promote appropriate access to such resources, as internationally agreed
  • Take urgent action to end poaching and trafficking of protected species of flora and fauna and address both demand and supply of illegal wildlife products
  • By 2020, introduce measures to prevent the introduction and significantly reduce the impact of invasive alien species on land and water ecosystems and control or eradicate the priority species
  • By 2020, integrate ecosystem and biodiversity values into national and local planning, development processes, poverty reduction strategies and accounts
  • Mobilize and significantly increase financial resources from all sources to conserve and sustainably use biodiversity and ecosystems
  • Mobilize significant resources from all sources and at all levels to finance sustainable forest management and provide adequate incentives to developing countries to advance such management, including for conservation and reforestation
  • Enhance global support for efforts to combat poaching and trafficking of protected species, including by increasing the capacity of local communities to pursue sustainable livelihood opportunities
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  • By 2020, ensure the conservation, restoration and sustainable use of terrestrial and inland freshwater ecosystems and their services, in particular forests, wetlands, mountains and drylands, in line with obligations under international agreements
  • By 2020, promote the implementation of sustainable management of all types of forests, halt deforestation, restore degraded forests and substantially increase afforestation and reforestation globally
  • By 2030, combat desertification, restore degraded land and soil, including land affected by desertification, drought and floods, and strive to achieve a land degradation-neutral world
  • By 2030, ensure the conservation of mountain ecosystems, including their biodiversity, in order to enhance their capacity to provide benefits that are essential for sustainable development
  • Take urgent and significant action to reduce the degradation of natural habitats, halt the loss of biodiversity and, by 2020, protect and prevent the extinction of threatened species
  • Promote fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising from the utilization of genetic resources and promote appropriate access to such resources, as internationally agreed
  • Take urgent action to end poaching and trafficking of protected species of flora and fauna and address both demand and supply of illegal wildlife products
  • By 2020, introduce measures to prevent the introduction and significantly reduce the impact of invasive alien species on land and water ecosystems and control or eradicate the priority species
  • By 2020, integrate ecosystem and biodiversity values into national and local planning, development processes, poverty reduction strategies and accounts
  • Mobilize and significantly increase financial resources from all sources to conserve and sustainably use biodiversity and ecosystems
  • Mobilize significant resources from all sources and at all levels to finance sustainable forest management and provide adequate incentives to developing countries to advance such management, including for conservation and reforestation
  • Enhance global support for efforts to combat poaching and trafficking of protected species, including by increasing the capacity of local communities to pursue sustainable livelihood opportunities
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The concept of long term sustainability of development programmes is constantly evolving.

The SDG Fund definition involves:

  1. Inclusion and participation in programme initiatives within the vision of a Human Rights-based approach
  2. Economic use of resources in programme implementation
  3. Sustainability of programme achievements after termination of activities
  4. Mainstreaming environment and climate change in development programmes

For our programmes integrating sustainability requires an analysis of the governance architecture and the different stages of the programme cycle. At the national level, this could include the formulation of national policies, long term and multi-year development plans, sectoral budgetary allocation processes, and regulatory processes. At the level of projects on the ground, climate change adaptation considerations might need to be factored within specific elements of the project cycle.

As an example, a key element to mainstreaming climate change is the use of a climate lens. The following criteria are essential elements to be observed:

  • The extent to which the policy, plan, or project under consideration could be vulnerable to risks arising from climate variability and change
  • The extent to which climate change risks have already been taken into consideration
  • The extent to which the policy, plan, or project could inadvertently lead to increased vulnerability and maladaptation or miss important opportunities arising from climate change

The following publications offer useful guidance for introducing environmental sustainability and climate change sensitivity into development programmes:

See also this list of references from the UNFCCC on how to mainstream climate change into development programming.

[summary] => [format] => full_html [safe_value] =>

The concept of long term sustainability of development programmes is constantly evolving.

The SDG Fund definition involves:

  1. Inclusion and participation in programme initiatives within the vision of a Human Rights-based approach
  2. Economic use of resources in programme implementation
  3. Sustainability of programme achievements after termination of activities
  4. Mainstreaming environment and climate change in development programmes

For our programmes integrating sustainability requires an analysis of the governance architecture and the different stages of the programme cycle. At the national level, this could include the formulation of national policies, long term and multi-year development plans, sectoral budgetary allocation processes, and regulatory processes. At the level of projects on the ground, climate change adaptation considerations might need to be factored within specific elements of the project cycle.

As an example, a key element to mainstreaming climate change is the use of a climate lens. The following criteria are essential elements to be observed:

  • The extent to which the policy, plan, or project under consideration could be vulnerable to risks arising from climate variability and change
  • The extent to which climate change risks have already been taken into consideration
  • The extent to which the policy, plan, or project could inadvertently lead to increased vulnerability and maladaptation or miss important opportunities arising from climate change

The following publications offer useful guidance for introducing environmental sustainability and climate change sensitivity into development programmes:

See also this list of references from the UNFCCC on how to mainstream climate change into development programming.

[safe_summary] => ) ) ) [field_short_description] => Array ( [und] => Array ( [0] => Array ( [value] => Embedding sustainable principles in all our projects and ensuring long-term development gains. [format] => [safe_value] => Embedding sustainable principles in all our projects and ensuring long-term development gains. ) ) ) [field_icon_class] => Array ( [und] => Array ( [0] => Array ( [value] => fa fa-recycle [format] => [safe_value] => fa fa-recycle ) ) ) [field_subtitle] => Array ( [und] => Array ( [0] => Array ( [value] =>

Embedding sustainable principles in all our projects and ensuring long-term development gains

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Embedding sustainable principles in all our projects and ensuring long-term development gains

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What exactly does it mean to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+)? What are the opportunities and risks for forests in today’s changing climate and is there a clear path forward? The articles in this issue address these and other questions. [format] => [safe_value] => Where do forests and forestry stand today in international climate change negotiations? What exactly does it mean to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+)? What are the opportunities and risks for forests in today’s changing climate and is there a clear path forward? 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