FACT: Protecting forests through sustainable land use

FACT: Protecting forests through sustainable land use


Protecting nature for the benefit of people and our climate is firmly on the agenda for COP26, collecting global momentum and emergence of action.

Protecting and restoring nature for the benefit of people and climate is at the heart of this year’s COP26 talks. Faced with the dual burden of climate change and biodiversity loss, neither can be solved asynchronously.

Land commodities including forestry and agriculture have an important role in society. They provide a livelihood for millions, support global food security, and have a vital role in ecosystem services. However, they currently account for nearly a quarter of global greenhouse gas emissions.

Following the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report declaring: Climate Change ‘Code Red’, it is crucial that global momentum builds. As a result, organisations, institutions, and ministers should use this report as the final wake-up call for political leaders.

The solution to protecting and restoring forests and other critical ecosystems is partly through integrating sustainable agriculture and land use. Countries on both the consumer and producer side can transition towards sustainable global trade and development. With this transition comes forest protection, hand-in-hand with policy, innovation, and investment collaboration. As momentum intensifies, there has been an emergence of action and initiatives. COP26 presents the opportunity to accelerate this transition.

For COP26, the Presidency and Tropical Forest Alliance (TFA) are accelerating the transition to more sustainable land-use practices through the Forest, Agriculture, and Commodity (FACT) Dialogue. FACT seeks to open opportunities for investment, livelihoods, and jobs in forests, land use, and agriculture. Therefore ensuring that a sustainable relationship is established for the preservation and future of our forests.

This is about working together to protect our precious forests while enhancing livelihoods and supporting economic development and food security,” Alok Sharma, COP26 President.

Taking action to protect forests, FACT works through the collaborative action of multi-stakeholder consultations, with actors along the supply chain in consumer and producer countries. 

Twenty-five countries including Brazil, Colombia and Indonesia have committed to working together to protect the world’s forests. Alongside this commitment, they will also promote and bolster sustainable trade. Sustainable trade of agriculture and forest commodities is essential for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. In other words, sustainable trade can enhance economic development, poverty reduction, improved livelihoods, and access to basic human needs. 

We have a unique opportunity to do things differently, to listen to all perspectives and regions, and collective build the solutions that will lead us to a forest-positive future,” Fabiola Muñoz, Multi-stakeholder Taskforce.

Alongside initiatives like the FACT Dialogue, there must be enhanced sustainable forest management, overarching governance, legal enforcement, and the framework which binds these all. 

In conclusion, a global balance must be achieved to allow sustainable production which does not pose critical challenges to the sustainability of our forests or ecosystems, our environment, or contribute to biodiversity loss or rising emissions.