British prime minister Boris Johnson said the Glasgow Leaders’ Declaration on Forest and Land Use is an “unprecedented agreement. ”Brazil, Indonesia, and the Democratic Republic of Congo, which collectively account for 85 per cent of the world’s forests, are among those backing the joint statement to be released at the COP26 climate talks in Glasgow.

More than 30 private sector investors also pledged to stop investing in activities linked to deforestation by 2025.The agreement includes promises to secure the rights of Indigenous peoples and recognize “their role as forest guardians.”

The pledge is backed by almost $20 billion  in public and private funding, the UK government said.Britain and 11 other countries have pledged 8.75 billion pounds  of public funding between 2021 and 2025 to help developing countries restore degraded land and tackle wildfires.

 Five countries, including Britain and the US, as well as a group of global charities, pledged $1.7 billion  to support Indigenous people’s conservation of forests.A 2014 UN climate meeting in New York had issued a similar declaration to halve the rate of deforestation by 2020 and end it by 2030.

Yet trees continue to be cut down on an industrial scale. The far-right government of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has particularly come under fire over the deforestation of the Amazon.

Greenpeace criticized the Glasgow initiative for giving the green light to “another decade of deforestation.”  Greenpeace Brazil executive director Carolina Pasquali said, “Indigenous peoples are calling for 80% of the  Amazon to be protected by 2025, and they’re right, that’s what’s needed,”.

“The climate and the natural world can’t afford this deal,” she said.

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