Forests are at the core of our efforts to restore our relationship with the natural world, the deputy UN chief said on Monday at the UN Forum on Forests. Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed said we were at a “make-or-break moment,”adding that woodlands provide vital functions, including as guardians of fresh water sources and biodiversity protection. “Forests are at the core of the solutions that can help us make peace with nature,” she underscored, stressing that “we need all-hands-on-deck” to support of forests worldwide. Moreover, failure to protect them would have a major, negative impact on damaging and rising carbon emissions. The deputy UN chief said that forests must be adequately financed, including through alleviating debt burdens for those States which are expected to do more for woodland protection and sustainable agriculture overall. Pointing out that the world is facing “wide-ranging global crises” that are “intrinsically linked” to the health and sustainability of our environment, General Assembly President Volkan Bozkir called the discussion “particularly timely.” “Clearly our world is telling us that there is a problem in our relationship with nature,” he said, noting the impact of COVID-19, a zoonotic disease that highlights the risks associated with human encroachment; species extinction rates, which range from 100 to 1,000 times above the baseline rate; and rising global warming, with 2016 and 2020 tied as the warmest years on record. “Unfortunately, as a society, we tend to focus on the symptoms and not the underlying conditions, and we have ignored the Earth’s messages for far too long,” said the Assembly president. “Hopefully, we can help change that.”
By UN News. April 26, 2021.