However, efforts to preserve forests have failed. One effort, as recognized in the Paris Climate Agreement, seeks payment for forested nations to reduce tree loss. But progress has been disappointingly slow. Similar promises were made by previous governments, but little progress has been made in stemming the destruction of forests for commercial and agricultural purposes. Scientists found that Amazonian parts were being restored this year. have begun emitting more carbonThey are more than they store.
A United Nations plan announced in 2017Similar commitments were made. The New York Declaration on Forests in 2014, which was an agreement to end deforestation by 2030 set goals but did not provide a way to achieve them. The new announcements bring more countries in and place emphasis on establishing guidelines.
The participating governments promised “support for smallholders, Indigenous Peoples and local communities, who depend on forests for their livelihoods and have a key role in their stewardship.”
Tuntiak Catan, the Global Alliance of Territorial Communities’ general coordinator, was a member of the Shuar people of Amazonian Ecuador. He praised the effort in Glasgow, but questioned why he would spend money on a system that he believes is broken.
“If this financing doesn’t work directly, and shoulder to shoulder, with Indigenous peoples, it’s not going to have the necessary impact,” he said.
China is one of the biggest signatories to the deforest declaration, but the country’s leader, Xi Jinping, did not attend the climate negotiations in Glasgow. China has experienced heavy forest losses over the past decades as its population has grown and its industry has expanded. However, China has been pledging to replant forests and expand sustainable tree agriculture in recent decades.
By China’s estimate, forests now cover about 23 percent of its landmass, up from 17 percent in 1990, according to the World Bank. Some research has challenged the quality and size of the expanded tree cover. However, the Chinese government has made expanded restoration a central part of its climate policies. Many parts of China are much greener today than they were two decades ago.