NYDF Progress Assessment: Lax legal systems, violations of indigenous land rights, and corruption continue to fuel climate change

NYDF Progress Assessment: Lax legal systems, violations of indigenous land rights, and corruption continue to fuel climate change


The fourth edition of the NYDF Progress Assessment, launched on 29 November 2018, focuses on forest governance, rule of law, and empowerment of indigenous peoples, and reveals that crime counteracts commitments to end deforestation.

Illegal destruction of rainforests continues as governments fail to address corruption
Despite high-profile promises to address corruption and protect forests, a number of governments in tropical countries are failing to prosecute landowners and other actors responsible for the illegal destruction of rainforests and the violence that indigenous and other local communities confront when they resist incursions onto their lands, according to the new research.

Enforcing laws remains slow and limited
According to the report, strengthening institutions and enforcing laws remains slow and limited. Enforcement is particularly challenging in developing countries, many of which have relatively strong legal frameworks (sometimes stronger than those of developed countries), but often struggle to fully implement their laws, regulations, and commitments.  Common impediments include a lack of coordination, limited resources, and insufficient capacities.

Assessment Partners annually conduct NYDF Progress Assessment
The New York Declaration on Forests (NYDF), endorsed at the United Nations Climate Summit in September 2014, is a voluntary political declaration with over 190 endorsers - including countries, subnational governments, companies, indigenous groups, and NGOs - with ambitious targets to end forest loss.

Climate Focus coordinates the NYDF Assessment Partners – a network of civil society and research groups mandated with tracking progress toward the ten goals of the NYDF until 2020.  Together, the partners annually conduct the NYDF Progress Assessment, consisting of (1) an in-depth report looking at progress on a selected goal (or set of goals) and (2) brief updates on all the goals. 

Natural forests are disappearing at an alarming rate since NYDF was adopted in 2014
The 2018 progress assessment of Goals 1-9, launched in September, shows that natural forests continue to disappear at an alarming rate since the NYDF was adopted in 2014. Though some of this forest loss has been offset by regrowth, young forests have different ecosystems and structures from established forests and are unlikely to offset carbon emissions from natural forests. Overall, we are not on track to meet the goal to halve natural forest loss globally by 2020.