Photo credit: UN News Centre
Deforestation in Bhutan (file). World Bank/Curt Carnemark
COP21: UN spotlights importance of protecting forests and agriculture to improve livelihoods, feed the world
The impacts of climate change on forests and agriculture were in the spotlight today at the United Nations climate change conference (COP21), as new alliances among organizations and stakeholders were announced aiming to eliminate natural deforestation and forest degradation, and to prevent threats to sustainable farming and people’s livelihoods.
Many of the events on the second day of the global gathering in Paris, France took place in the context of the Lima-Paris Action Agenda (LPAA) – a joint undertaking by the Governments of Peru and France, the Office of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the organizer of the current conference, the 21st meeting of the Convention’s States Parties. The Action Agenda was launched in December 2014 by the previous meeting of the UNFCCC parties in Lima, Peru.
As highlighted in a press release issued by UNFCCC, the LPAA aims to strengthen climate action beyond COP21, by “mobilizing robust global action towards low carbon and resilient societies and providing enhanced support to existing initiatives.”
During the two-week conference, 12 thematic focus events are being organized to expose how climate issues affect various sectors and to suggest relevant solutions to tackle them. On Tuesday, with forests and agriculture taking center stage, leaders from governments, the private and public sectors, civil society and indigenous peoples voiced their environmental concerns.
This included how agriculture, forestry and other land uses are responsible for nearly a quarter of all greenhouse gas emissions – about half of that from deforestation and forest degradation, mostly driven by demand for food and wood products and inequities and inefficiencies in the use of land for their production.
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