A staggering one-third of all agricultural landscapes are now degraded, mostly in developing countries, and a net 12 million hectares (ha) continue to be degraded yearly. But commitment to change is growing.
A staggering one-third of all agricultural landscapes are now degraded, mostly in developing countries, and a net 12 million hectares (ha) continue to be degraded yearly. But commitment to change is growing. The report highlights significant regional achievements being implemented, such as Initiative 20×20, through which seven Latin American countries and partners have pledged to bring 20 million ha of land into restoration by 2020, and the Africa Climate-Smart Agriculture Alliance, which aims to engage 6 million smallholders by 2021. There is considerable momentum for international cooperative action on better land use already. For example, more than 175 governments, companies, civil society institutions and indigenous peoples’ groups have endorsed the New York Declaration on Forests, pledging to work together to cut natural forest loss in half by the end of the decade, end it entirely by 2030, and restore more than 350 million ha of forests by 2030. Still, stepped-up cooperation is needed in three critical areas: public–private partnerships to restore degraded agricultural and forest landscapes, international finance to halt and reverse deforestation, and commodity supply chain commitments to create business incentives for sustainable land use.
The report recommends that governments, multilateral and bilateral finance institutions, the private sector and willing investors work together to scale up sustainable land use financing, towards a global target of halting deforestation and putting into restoration at least 500 million ha of degraded farmlands and forests by 2030. Developed economies and forested developing countries should enter into partnerships that scale up international flows for REDD+, focused increasingly on mechanisms that generate verified emission reductions, with the aim of financing an additional reduction of 1 Gt CO2e per year from 2020 and beyond. The private sector should commit to extending deforestation-free supply-chain commitments for key commodities and enhanced financing to support this.
Collectively, these efforts can lead to emission reductions of 3.3–9.0 Gt CO2e in 2030 while making agriculture more productive and resilient, and boosting the incomes of agrarian and forest communities in developing countries.