Climate change is one of the greatest threats humankind has known. Forests can be part of the solution.
Between 30 November and 11 December 2015, world leaders gathered in Paris for one of the biggest climate conferences of all times. COP21 marked a defining moment for the global community to come together and collectively show their resolve towards “changing climate change”. The deal reached delivered much of what WWF asked for – the explicit mention of forests in the agreement sent an indisputable signal that actions to halt deforestation and forest degradation will have to be a part of high level domestic political agendas, and no longer a marginal topic.
Forests and climate are intrinsically linked: forest loss and degradation is both a cause and an effect of our changing climate.
The agriculture, forestry and land-use sectors account for about a quarter of all global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and are the largest sources after cars, trucks, trains, planes and ships combined. By reducing forest loss, we can reduce carbon emissions and fight climate change. It’s that simple.
As deforestation and forest degradation have such a significant impact on climate change, reducing forest loss can have multiple benefits for ecosystems and people. These include cutting greenhouse gas emissions, sequestering carbon, providing other ecosystems services, and maintaining intact, functioning forests that have the best chance of withstanding climate change.