While countries have broadly recognised the role of forests in climate change mitigation and adaptation in their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), this ambition is not fully reflected in the targets they have set. As governments embark on the process of reviewing their NDCs, IUCN and Climate Focus conducted an in-depth analysis of the NDCs submitted by countries under the Paris Agreement to see how and where forest and land-based targets were identified. This timely analysis reveals opportunities where countries could increase their ambition through forest landscape restoration (FLR).
Globally, the financial implications of degradation and deforestation are compelling. In 2008, annual economic losses from deforestation and degradation were estimated at €1.5–3.4 trillion, equal to 3.3–7.5% of global GDP. The urgent need for economic diversification and sustainable management of natural resources is underscored by the Paris Agreement that promotes low carbon and resilient economies.
In 2017, IUCN and Climate Focus conducted a rapid analysis of NDCs, which confirmed that countries view restoration of natural and managed landscapes as an important solution for mitigating climate change. The rapid analysis also showed that countries’ climate ambition varied broadly when considering commitments and climate actions under and beyond the Paris Agreement. While 77% of countries mentioned the implementation of activities encompassed in the FLR concept, only 26% mentioned such actions as quantifiable commitments to be reported upon and measured in achieving the mitigation objectives of the Paris Agreement.
In 2018, the analysis was expanded to provide policy makers with more accurate and detailed information on the role FLR could play in increasing climate ambition and enabling more robust implementation of their countries' NDCs.