Since 1987, Conservation International has worked to spotlight and secure the critical benefits that nature provides to humanity. Building upon a strong foundation of science, partnership, and field demonstration, Conservation International empowers societies to responsibly and sustainably care for nature, global biodiversity, for the well-being of humanity. The organization have 3 priorities : stabilizing climate by protecting and restoring nature, doubling ocean protection, expanding planet-positive economies.
How to integrate the different scales from local to global in the preservation and restoration of forests?
Responsible and transformative multi-stakeholder coalitions and alliances are key, so both local and global stakeholders can join forces and bring knowledge, financing and mutual accountability. These coalitions and alliances help amplify solutions. We must renew our focus on implementation and collaborative action, in order to transform the systems that drive deforestation and forest degradation.
Initiatives to fight deforestation or restore forests as well as funding are launched by both private and public actors. How can we strengthen cooperation between these sectors to accelerate action for forests?
We must deploy blended finance in a way that maximizes forest restoration and conservation. This model integrates public and private capital to support the goals and objectives in the forest and land-use sectors. Curbing deforestation requires the full engagement of the private sector.
Accessing private capital for forest restoration will require new approaches — moving beyond concessional finance toward commercially viable businesses, respecting human and land rights, and also help improve smallholder livelihoods.
A key challenge is how to decouple commodities from deforestation and degradation, and how to finance forest restoration at scale. The global funding needed for safeguarding nature is US$300-400 billion, while current annual flows remain around US$50 billion (Credit Suisse/WWF/McKinsey 2014). Even though reversing nature loss could account for roughly 30 percent of global action needed to stabilize our climate, there is often limited funding available from development and public agencies to invest in the protection of forests. We must also explore more innovative ways to increase financing to smallholder farmers and rural communities for scaling up good restoration, protection and conservation practices.
What are the 3 priority actions to implement to reach the Global Forest Goals by 2030 in your opinion?
First, we must move from narrow, site-focused efforts to large-scale restoration, protection and conservation projects. However, this cannot be done without addressing the drivers of degradation and deforestation — and tackling them at scale. Renewed commitments and actions on deforestation-free commodity supply chains — and greening the global financial systems that finance businesses that drive deforestation— are key pillars. Until the financial sector actively confronts deforestation, national and international forest-sector governance reforms and public policy are unlikely to succeed.
Second, we must recognize the role forests play to create thriving and climate-resilient landscapes. By absorbing and storing carbon from the atmosphere, forests and other high-carbon ecosystems can help to forestall climate change while also providing a host of additional benefits — filtering fresh water, providing breathable air — that other approaches to climate change don’t offer.
Finally, forest restoration is already happening across the world, but we need more actions to strengthen countries’ efforts, responding to the urgent need of holding the temperature to well below 2°C while pursuing efforts to limit the increase to 1.5°C.
There is no single solution. To maximize climate benefits, we need to keep more of our forests intact, manage the forests we use more sustainably and restore the ones we have lost – in combination with sustainable land management practices and approaches that avoid further degradation and deforestation.