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The Global Forest Goals Report 2021: UN Report

Topics Covered: Conservation related issues.

The Global Forest Goals Report 2021: UN Report:


Context:

Released recently, the Report has been prepared by the Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations.

  • It provides an initial overview of progress of Goals and targets contained within the United Nations Strategic Plan for Forests 2030.

Key findings:

  1. Covid-19 pandemic has aggravated the challenges faced by countries in managing their forests.
  2. Overall impact: More than just a health crisis, Covid-19 is driving losses of lives and livelihoods, extreme poverty, inequality, and food insecurity, and it has put the ‘Future We Want’ further out of reach.
  3. Impact on Global Output: It is estimated that world gross product fell by an estimated 4.3% in 2020. It is the sharpest contraction of global output since the Great Depression.
  4. On the economic front, forest-dependent populations have faced job loss, reduced income, diminished access to markets and information, and for many women and youth, a contraction in seasonal employment.
  5. Many forest dependent populations, especially those in remote or hard to reach places, have faced difficulties accessing healthcare or find that government assistance programmes and basic services are disrupted.
  6. Pandemic driven health and socio-economic outcomes have increased pressure on forests. This is because, to ease their growing vulnerability, many indigenous peoples and local communities, as well as returning migrants and urban workers, have retreated deeper into the woods to seek food, fuel, shelter, and protection from the risks of Covid-19.
  7. One million species were at risk of extinction and that 100 million hectares of tropical forest were lost from 1980 to 2000.

What needs to be done?

  • Sustainably resourced and managed forests can bolster employment, disaster risk reduction, food security and social safety nets, for starters.
  • With regard to global health, safeguarding and restoring forests are among the environmental actions that can reduce the risk of future zoonotic disease outbreaks.
  • The report called for a future course of action that included greater sustainability and a greener and more inclusive economy to tackle the threats of Covid-19, climate change and the biodiversity crisis faced by forests.

Sources: down to earth.