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the Netherlands - 09 May, 2022
To prevent deforestation, restore degraded lands and build green value chains, local small-scale producers in the forestry and agroforestry sectors require better access to finance, so they can invest in sustainable practices, according to FAO’s most recent State of the World’s Forests.
In 30 years, 10% of the total forest area on earth was lost, according to the most recent edition of FAO’s flagship publication The State of the World’s Forests, released on 2 May, 2022. Forest loss has dramatic consequences for the climate and biodiversity, and increases the risks of zoonotic diseases, such as Covid-19. The need to reverse the trend has never been more evident.
The report outlines three pathways for achieving green recovery and tackling environmental crises: (i) halting deforestation and maintaining forests; (ii) restoring degraded lands and expanding agroforestry; and (iii) sustainably using forests and building green value chains. Local actors, including women, youth and Indigenous Peoples, have a leading role in achieving these forest pathways.
Supporting their role requires significant financial investments in sustainable forestry and agroforestry. This is one of the messages of Chapter 4 of the report, to which Bas Louman of Tropenbos International contributed. Together with colleagues from the Center for International Forestry Research and other organizations, he stresses that local forest and farm producers need access to finance, so they can invest in green recovery, and reap the benefits.
Currently, less than two percent of global climate finance is reaching small farmers, Indigenous Peoples and local communities in developing countries. To change this, there is a need to reduce the perceived risks for investments, and for the development of investment facilities that help small and medium-sized enterprises in forest value chains to aggregate production and add value, among others. Only with more and smarter financial investments the forest pathways will materialize.
The full 2022 State of the World’s Forests report as well as a summary are available on the FAO website.