Deforestation in the tropics increases despite commitments to halt it

Despite the commitment of the New York Declaration on Forests (NDYF) to halve the rate of loss of natural forests globally by 2020 and strive to end natural forest loss by 2030, hardly any progress has been made. Since the signing of the NYDF in 2014, the average annual rate of tropical humid primary forest loss has increased by 44 percent relative to the baseline period of 2002 from 3.0 to 4.3 million hectares per year (the size of the Netherlands) The greatest percent increase was in Africa compared to Latin America and Asia.

Average emissions due to tropical forest cover loss since the signing of the NYDF increased with 57 percent, from 3.0 to 4.7 gigatons CO2 per year. This is about the same as Europe emits every year. Half of it comes from clearing primary forest.

The NYDF is a voluntary and non-binding international declaration to take action to halt deforestation with over 200 endorsers, including sub-national governments, multi-national companies, groups representing indigenous communities, and non-government organizations.