An agreement to end deforestation by 2030, as pledged by more than 100 world leaders at the COP26 meeting in Glasgow, is a welcome step, but the hard work begins now, The Consumer Goods Forum (CGF) has said.
According to Didier Bergeret, sustainability director at the CGF and lead of the forum's Forest Positive Coalition, “The commitments made at COP26 must now expand and expedite the difficult and complex work, including many already live projects, at country and community level.
"Furthermore, addressing deforestation must be carried out in a holistic way that protects not just natural habitats and biodiversity, but also smallholders and indigenous peoples.”
His comments follow an agreement by leaders representing more than 85% of the world's forests to halt and reverse deforestation and land degradation by the end of the decade, with some $12 billion of public finds and $7.2 billion of private investment allocated to achieving this commitment.
"With today’s unprecedented pledges, we will have a chance to end humanity’s long history as nature’s conqueror, and instead become its custodian," British Prime Minister Boris Johnson commented.
Elsewhere, Tuntiak Katan, coordinator of the Global Alliance of Territorial Communities, representing communities from the rainforests of Africa, Latin America and Indonesia, welcomed the announcement, but called for action to back this up.
"We will be looking for concrete evidence of a transformation in the way funds are invested," he said. "If 80% of what is proposed is directed to supporting land rights and the proposals of Indigenous and local communities, we will see a dramatic reversal in the current trend that is destroying our natural resources.
The COP26 meeting runs until 12 November.
Forest Positive Coalition
The Consumer Goods Forum's Forest Positive Coalition works with leading retailers and consumer goods firms, including Carrefour, Mars Incorporated, Tesco and Mondelez, which together are working on initiatives to actively end deforestation in their supply chains.
"Our members, made up of CEOs of the world’s leading consumer good brands, are on the frontline of this vitally important issue," Bergeret added. "Through our Forest Positive Coalition, we are acutely aware of the challenges and opportunities – and recognise how crucial it is to collaborate with leaders, governments, communities, NGOs and sector leaders to translate ambitious targets to meaningful and measurable change."