Starting on 8 July 2019, the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES) began participation, as an Assessment Partner, in the "New York Declaration on Forests”. In this role, IGES will contribute to the evaluation of progress on the Declaration, based on the Institute’s experience and expertise in forest conservation.
The New York Declaration on Forests (NYDF) was adopted at the UN Climate Change Summit in September 2014, to address deforestation issues that have a deleterious effect on biodiversity, and exacerbate the effects of climate change. The NYDF Assessment Partners are a network of international NGOs and research institutes whose work in research and advocacy supports efforts by signatory countries and companies to achieve the goals of the Declaration. The Partners will conduct scientific and independent monitoring of progress achieved through the signatories’ activities, and annually publish in-depth assessment reports that measure gains in achieving these goals.
The Declaration’s 10 goals include, among others, support for efforts to “at least halve the rate of loss of natural forests globally by 2020 and strive to end natural forest loss by 2030” (Goal 1), and “eliminating deforestation from the production of agricultural commodities … no later than 2020” (Goal 2). According to the NYDF’s Global Platform, meeting the NYDF goals “would cut between 4.5 and 8.8 billion tons of carbon pollution every year – about as much as the current emissions of the United States”. Currently, more than 50 governments (including Japan), at least 50 of the world’s biggest companies, and over 50 indigenous groups and NGOs, have signed the Declaration.
IGES has conducted research on REDD+, including climate change mitigation through forest conservation, responsible timber production and trade, and reducing the impact of Japanese agriculture and forestry product supply chains on deforestation in Asia. Until now, efforts to combat deforestation in the supply chain have been more actively promoted in the West, and NYDF Assessment Partners have also been primarily composed of Western research institutes and NGOs. IGES represents the first research institute in Asia that aims to provide its analysis on government and company efforts towards and progress on achieving the New York Declaration on Forests in the region. In order to promote the activities more broadly, especially in Japan, IGES is also disseminating the reports produced by the NYDF Assessment Partners.