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Happy International Day of Forests!
This year's theme is Biodiversity. Here are some key facts about forests and biodiversity:
  • Forests are home to about 80% of the world’s terrestrial biodiversity.
  • Forests and woodlands are made of over 60,000 tree species.
  • More than a billion people depend directly on forests for food, shelter, energy and income.
  • Genetic diversity helps forests to cope with climate change and other threats.
  • Biodiversity is under serious threat from deforestation, forest degradation and climate change.
  • Managing forests sustainably, and restoring them when needed, is crucial for people, biodiversity and climate.
On each International Day of Forests, countries are encouraged to undertake local, national and international efforts to organize activities involving forests and trees, such as tree planting campaigns. Read more about the forest actions by NYDF endorsers below.

“The coronavirus is now telling the world what we [Indigenous peoples] have been saying for thousands of years...

...that if we do not help protect biodiversity and nature, then we will face this and worse future threats", said Levi Sucre Romero, a BriBri indigenous person from Costa Rica and coordinator of the Mesoamerican Alliance of Peoples and Forests. The same forest destruction that accelerates climate change can also encourage the emergence of diseases such as the coronavirus, Indigenous peoples’ leaders said March 13 in New York including, Mina Setra, deputy secretary-general of the Indigenous Peoples’ Alliance of the Archipelago (NYDF endorser), and Dinamam Tuxá, the coordinator and legal adviser to the Association of Indigenous Peoples of Brazil. Read more here.

'Tip of the iceberg': is our destruction of nature responsible for Covid-19?

As habitat and biodiversity loss increase globally, the coronavirus outbreak may be just the beginning of mass pandemics. Read more here.
"Diseases are more likely to travel further and faster than before, which means we must be faster in our responses. It needs investments, change in human behavior, and it means we must listen to people at community levels.”

NYDF Blog: 'Grief, Denial, Anger and Acceptance as our forests burn.'

In response to this global pandemic, scientists and the media have reminded us all of the connection between biodiversity and human health. We are also reminded of the increased need to harness our fears, build hope and drive action for climate, people and nature.

This guest blog makes the connection between biodiversity loss and mental health by examining the Amazon and Australian forest fires through the lens of the Five Stages of Grief, and finding a positive outcome in the community response.

New California bill would address products linked to deforestation and climate change

California State Assembly Member Ash Kalra introduced the California Deforestation Free Procurement Act (AB2002). If the bill were to become law, it would tap the enormous purchasing power of California to halt the destruction of tropical forests, a leading cause of climate change. This is a milestone in California's efforts to meet their commitment to the New York Declaration on Forests, particularly on Goal 2 to stop deforestation from agricultural commodities. Read more in the blog below to learn more more about this and and other forest legislation.

Blog: Momentum is growing for demand-side regulations on deforestation – here’s why regulation is an imperative

In this NYDF guest blog, Jeff Conant, Senior International Forests Program Director at Friends of the Earth, shares how California and other governments are stepping up to stop deforestation through demand-side regulations. Read more here.

Danone and L'Oreal join multinational effort to restore biodiversity

A diverse group of 19 multinational companies — including food giant Danone, cosmetics queen L’Oreal and data powerhouse Google — are digging deep to plant the seeds for a global push to protect and promote biodiversity. Read more here. This coalition is called One Planet Business for Biodiversity and is coordinated by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development. Read their Joint Statement on the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework.

Uganda renews debate to save its disappearing forests

UNDP's Accelerator Lab in Uganda focuses on exploring innovative solutions to tackle the leading drivers of deforestation. Read how they too a fresh look at the drivers of deforestation using a new set of methodologies. Also read about how Uganda is using collective intelligence to map out strategies to address deforestation. 

Nestle vows to plant 3 million trees in Mexico, Brazil to help set off emissions

Nestle SA is launching a reforestation project to plant at least 3 million trees in Mexico and Brazil in the next year and a half as the Swiss food group strives for carbon neutrality by 2050. Read more here.

UN-REDD Impact Stories

The UN-REDD Programme launched a new storytelling webpage. These nine impact stories illustrate how forests matter to people and the planet. The stories show in a relatable way how the UN-REDD Programme helps countries advance on REDD+, and how people are always at the core of every success story.

  • Nigeria: Mangrove rehabilitation
  • Kenya: Managing forests through community participation
  •  Zambia: How to survive when rain and forests dwindle
  • Papua New Guinea: Safeguarding biodiversity
  • Viet Nam: Greening the coffee supply chain
  • Myanmar: Working together to save the forests 
  • Peru: Protected forests, protected communities: land-titling
  • Costa Rica: How access to finance supports sustainable cattle ranching
  • Paraguay: Traditional indigenous knowledge meets new technologies 
Click here to discover these amazing stories from all over the world of people, communities and organizations fighting deforestation and forest degradation to reduce forest emissions and protect biodiversity.

Update: Ceres Investor Summit: 23-26 March, New York  is now virtual

A number of NYDF Endorsers will participate in Ceres 2020 in New York. Two converging events, the Investor Summit on Climate Risk and the Ceres Conference will mobilize the world's most influential capital market leaders to accelerate and scale up innovative solutions on the most pressing global sustainability challenges. These leading executives will map out the urgent steps for increased investor and corporate action on sustainability risks and opportunities across diverse sectors of the economy. See more details here.

Webinar: Aligning Deforestation-free Commitments and Capital Flows for Progress in Producer Countries

Powerful data and insights can help unlock the capital needed for corporate deforestation-free commitments to ultimately lead to results on the ground. Join this webinar with UNEP-FI, Forest Trends’ Supply Change initiative, and leading voices from sustainable finance, who will illustrate this with an example of how Supply Change research on palm oil supply chains in Indonesia can be used by companies, financial institutions, and government agencies looking to deploy capital toward sustainable supply chains. This webinar will feature the launch a related report by Supply Change and UNEP-FI. Sign up here.

Webinar Series: Finance for Forest Landscape Restoration (26 March)

A series of expert led webinars, kick-starting on 26 March 2020. The first session in the series will focus on Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES). Through a practitioners lens, speakers will provide examples of PES implementation to support landscapes, including challenges faced and long-term outcomes. Register here and join the LinkedIn group to stay connected.

Webinar Series: Using the UN Biodiversity Lab to Support National-level Conservation and the SDGs (March & April)

Spatial data is a powerful tool to support decision-making. NASA ARSET and UNDP are joining forces to offer three trainings focused on biodiversity, conservation, and the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The webinar series will focus on "Using the UN Biodiversity Lab to Support National Conservation and Sustainable Development Goals" and will host three sessions:

  • 24 March: Introduction to Spatial Data and Policies for Biodiversity
  • 31 March: UN Biodiversity Lab: Introduction and Training
  • 7 April: How are Countries Using Spatial Data to Support Conservation of Nature?

The sessions will be offered in English, French and Spanish. Register here.

Webinar: Tribal Forests and Forest Carbon: Activity and Interest in North America (1 April)

The Michigan State University Forest Carbon and Climate Program (MSU FCCP) will be hosting a webinar on April 1st from 3:00 – 4:00pm EST in collaboration with the Forest-Climate Working Group (FCWG) as part of our 2019-20 Learning Exchange Series. This session will feature Bryan Van Stippen from the National Indian Carbon Coalition (NICC) who will present "Tribal Forests and Forest Carbon: Activity and Interest in North America". Register here.

D.C. Environmental Film Festival: free online viewings

This year the world's largest green film festival is offering the films to be viewed for free online until March 31. We curated a list of some of the forest-related films from the festival. Go to for instructions on how to access the films from third party streaming services.

Tree Planting — A user’s guide for comparing tree for tree

Not all tree planting is created equal. Here’s a quick guide for assessing reforestation pledges to determine which qualify as natural climate solutions, and which do not. Read more here.

Sustainability Index for Landscape Restoration

The Initiative 20x20 Secretariat at the World Resources Institute, together with the Government of El Salvador, the Regional Program for Research on Development and Environment (PRISMA), and the German Corporation for International Cooperation (GIZ), created the Sustainability Index for Landscape Restoration. This is a field-tested tool and process for measuring the impact of restoration efforts and can be used in countries willing to develop monitoring systems at the landscape level.

Report: Identifying companies with potential interest in investing in conservation and restoration

In this report, Forest Trends’ Supply Change initiative discusses a unique approach of analyzing companies’ exposure, risk, ambition, and actions to address commodity-driven deforestation as a method of identifying appetite for financing forest restoration and conservation. Read full report here.

Ethical Corp Magazine: Focus on cattle and cocoa

In the second part of Ethical Corporation's magazine two-part special briefing on deforestation risk, the attention shifts to soy, cattle and cocoa. Some of the topics we cover include; rising hopes in Brazil that civil society can help stem the tide of deforestation, reportage on pioneering new strategies to transform farmers into allies in the fight against deforestation, insights into a new green bond being launched on the LSE that will incentivise sustainable soy production and analysis of a cocoa industry initiative in Ghana and Côte D’Ivoire that has failed to prevent rampant deforestation. Access full magazine here.

New Analysis: Global Carbon Markets Can More than Meet Civil Aviation Demand

Global airlines are committed to delivering “carbon neutral growth” in flights between countries, even if international air traffic doubles or triples, as some are projecting. That commitment kicks in next year, and a key vehicle for meeting it is the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA). Created through the UN’s International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), CORSIA will only deliver carbon-neutral growth if it recognizes a universe of offsets that’s large enough to meet variable demand but small enough to incentivize new activities that reduce emissions. A new analysis by Ecosystem Marketplace finds that current proposals do just that.

This analysis comes at a timely moment, just days before ICAO Council approved the eligible emissions units for CORSIA on March 13, reaching another important milestone toward CORSIA global implementation supporting worldwide efforts against climate change. 

Art for Nature and Climate

New street art about forests and nature-based climate solutions spotlighting the Amazon, indigenous leaders, and the sustainable development are painted in Madrid for the UN Climate Conference COP 25.

The New York Declaration on Forests (NYDF) outlines ten ambitious global targets to protect and restore forests and end natural forest loss by 2030. The NYDF is endorsed by 200 governments, companies, NGOs, and indigenous peoples organizations. The Global Platform for the New York Declaration on Forests (“NYDF Global Platform”) was launched at the UN Climate Change Conference in November 2017 and is dedicated to supporting and accelerating achievement of the global goals expressed in the New York Declaration on Forests. Click here to view the declaration.

Click here to join the NYDF Community and participate in discussions related to the NYDF goals, share forest news, and connect with other members.
This newsletter is not an endorsement of the organizations featured but intends to provide relevant stories, news, events, and updates to the NYDF community.
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