UNDP Convenes a Deeper Dialogue Process to Accelerate Action on Deforestation in West Africa

April 4, 2022

In September 2014, a broad coalition of governments, companies, civil society, and Indigenous peoples’ organizations endorsed the New York Declaration on Forests (NYDF) [1]. Driven by the shared understanding that halting deforestation is essential to keep temperature increases below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, the endorsers — who now number over 200 — adopted an ambitious declaration to stop deforestation by 2030 and ten associated goals.


© UNDP Liberia

The goals include restoring of degraded landscapes and forestlands  by 2020 and 350 million hectares by 2030, addressing the main drivers of deforestation, improving governance, and accelerating finance for forests. Tropical deforestation has continued at an unsustainable pace since 2014 and the 2020 NYDF targets were not met. Furthermore, while the political will to restore degraded land has increased, efforts to implement restoration promises have been slow to gain traction.This slow pace of progress catalyzed a process to update the NYDF goals and to enhance accountability, strengthen political will and accelerate action to meet the goals. Making progress to meet existing forest commitments is more important than ever in this critical decade for climate action to keep global temperatures below 1.5 degrees Celsius in line with the Paris Agreement and to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The Forest Declaration Platform, hosted by UNDP and in partnership with the Meridian Institute, Climate Advisers and Climate Focus supports the advancement and implementation of the NYDF goals. 

Goal 2 of the Declaration focuses on eliminating deforestation from the production of agricultural commodities well before 2030 – recognizing that many companies have even more ambitious targets. As the primary driver of deforestation globally continues to be agriculture, Goal 2 is critical for achieving the 2030 forest targets. 

In 2022 one of the key activities of the Forest Declaration Platform and UNDP will be to host a series of dialogues in two countries in the West Africa region, Cote d’Ivoire and Liberia, to identify how to accelerate progress on halting deforestation from agricultural commodities at country level. The dialogues will bring a cross-commodity focus and will aim to facilitate new alliances and partnerships for the achievement of Goal 2.