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Taking action for forests with the New York Declaration on Forests

Taking action for forests with the New York Declaration on Forests

March 23, 2021, by Estelle Levin-Nally and Blanca Racionero Gomez


The New York Declaration on Forest (NYDF) is a voluntary and non-binding international declaration to take action to halt global deforestation. It now has more than 200 endorsers from national and sub-national governments, multi-national companies, Indigenous peoples and local communities, and non-governmental organisations. Levin Sources became an endorser of the NYDF two years ago and ever since, we have been involved in key activities to support the evolution and implementation of the Declaration. In light of the International Day of Forests, we encourage others to embrace the NYDF, become an endorser and commit to achieving the 10 ambitious goals of the Declaration.

Forests are essential for all life on Earth, support livelihoods for a quarter of humanity, and are crucial to the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the climate ambition set out in the Paris Agreement. Currently, however, the world has lost 50% of its forests and deforestation rates continue to rise; we lost 10% of forests in the 20 years from 2000 to 2019, of which approx. 16% was primary humid forest. Deforestation is intensifying in important mining countries like Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Liberia, Brazil, Colombia, Venezuela, Suriname, Guatemala, Mexico, Bolivia, Peru, India, Indonesia, Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar, and Papua New Guinea. WWF identified mining as one of the key drivers of deforestation in a suite of deforestation fronts around the world. Indeed, mining represents the fourth-largest driver of forest loss in developing countries, and with an increased demand for minerals due to the transition to clean energy, forested and key biodiversity areas are under increased threat.

The NYDF offers a framework to align ambition and action to tackle deforestation and promote forest preservation and restoration by convening multiple stakeholders to set ambitious targets to end natural forest loss by 2030 and restore 350 million hectares of degraded forests.

By endorsing the NYDF, Levin Sources has made a public commitment to achieve these ten goals to protect forests through our operations, our services, and our advocacy. To put an example of our work in this space, together with the Alliance for Responsible Mining and Fauna & Flora International, and commissioned by the World Bank, Levin Sources has been crafting of Forest-Smart Mining Principles, Criteria and Indicators for artisanal and small-scale miners. We are committed to push for the adoption of Forest-Smart Mining as a pathway to help achieve the NYDF goals.

Becoming an endorser also opens up other pathways for collaboration with the NYDF:

  • NYDF Progress Assessment: the NYDF Progress Assessment monitors actions taken global progress on the NYDF goals. The Assessment is an iterative and collective process, where partners and collaborators participate in working groups for individual goals or topics. This Assessment does not focus on individual progress of NYDF endorsers, but it is used to evaluate the overall global status of forests and efforts to meet the NYDF goals. Levin Sources became part of the NYDF Progress Assessment Partners for goals 3 and 4 and has provided specific mining expertise for the evaluation.
  • NYDF Refresh Process: The NYDF is currently undergoing a refresh process, to address and recognize where progress has fallen short, like the missed 2020 targets, and reinforce ambition and commitments to meet the goals. Levin Sources is part of this Process for goals 3 and 4 particularly and has been introducing standard setters, mining companies, jewellers, industry associations, NGOs and other clients, partners and collaborators to this process, to make them aware of the NYDF and ensure the Refresh Process delivers revised goals that are more likely to enfranchise mining and minerals stakeholders into committing to Forest-Smart Mining and the protection of forests.
  • NYDF Global Platform: is a multi-stakeholder platform to re-invigorate political endorsement of the NYDF, to share best practices and resources to meet the goals, and to facilitate coordination and communication and to support ongoing monitoring of progress.

We encourage our colleagues, partners, and broader community of practice in the minerals sector to endorse the New York Declaration on Forests and commit to its 10 goals, and to consider your role as part of the solution to tackling the climate and biodiversity crises through ambitious action on forests. We would strongly encourage any mining or minerals sector actor, who wishes to do more to protect forests, to get in touch; we would love nothing more than to help you figure out how to do it.

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