Action on forest loss takes centre stage at the UN Climate Summit in New York on Tuesday when the New York Declaration on Forests, the very first of its kind, is unveiled with a promise of clear action to accelerate movement on the shared goal of ending global forest loss.
Unilever is one of a growing number of companies that have pledged to rid their supply chains of deforestation.
More than 1.6 billion people worldwide depend directly on forests for food, medicines and fuel. This includes approximately 60 million indigenous people who are almost entirely dependent on forests for their lives and livelihoods.
Paul Polman, CEO Unilever comments: “The last few months have seen a welcome race to the top. Consumers have sent companies a clear signal that they do not want their purchasing habits to drive deforestation and companies are responding.
“Better still, companies are committing to working in partnership with suppliers, governments and NGOs to strengthen forest governance and economic incentives. It can be done and this Declaration signals a real intention to accelerate action.”
A global pledge is viewed as a crucial step towards sustainable development with forests a critical ecosystem that harbours rich biodiversity and helps combat desertification and land degradation while also delivering food security for communities.