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A call for global accountability on forests

A call for global accountability on forests

This year’s International Day of Forests comes at a critical inflection point, as global leaders hover between unprecedented ambition and devastating complacency. While recent commitments make progress toward global forest protection more feasible than ever before, industrial pressures on forests continue to deforest and degrade the high-ecosystem integrity forests critical in securing a safe and sustainable future.

The UN has designated the theme this year as “Forests and Innovation,” celebrating the intersection between forests and technology in addressing the climate and biodiversity crises. We, however, are calling for a focus on something even more foundational to driving positive change: accountability.

Countries have made groundbreaking commitments under the climate and biodiversity conventions that can not only drive forest protection, but spur solutions and new sustainable economies.

For decades, however, the international community has failed to follow through on its commitments. Governments, particularly in the Global North, have signed international agreements on forests with one hand while weakening them with the other, creating an inequitable and inconsistent system inhospitable to progress. In fact, while some governments have already made strides toward delivering on this ambition, others are pursuing workarounds, loopholes, and policies that actively undermine their commitments, bolstered by industries that claim to want progress but instead cling to the status quo. With only a handful of years left to avoid catastrophic climate change and biodiversity collapse, there is no more time for failed promises from governments and lip service from the marketplace.

Innovation in an accountability vacuum is not only prone to failure, but dangerous.

Instead, we call for accountability. Accountability, not just in the tropics but also in the Global North, to halting and reversing deforestation and forest degradation by 2030. Accountability to principles of equity rather than protectionist impulses. Accountability to scientific integrity and to the rights of Indigenous Peoples and local communities. Accountability to present and future generations over short-term interests and industries that claim to embody innovation but instead hold back the development of sustainable economies.

Six years from now, International Day of Forests must be a celebration of what international unity was able to accomplish. That can happen only under a shared, equitable sense of responsibility and a commitment to truly global progress.

With accountability, innovation will follow.

Signed by

350 Eugene

350 Rutland County

AbibiNsroma Foundation

Advocates for the Environment


Amnesty International

Arnhems Peil Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education

Australian Rainforest Conservation Society

Bellingen Environment Centre

Biodiversity Conservation Center


BirdLife International

BirdLife Sweden

Blue Dalian



Canopy Center for Biological Diversity

Center for Sustainable Economy

Centre for Sustainability PH

Centro de Desarrollo Ambiental y Humano

Civic Monitoring of Trees



Climate Action for Lifelong Learners (CALL)

Climate Action Network Australia

Climate Action Network Canada

Climate Communications Coalition

Climate Justice Programme

Coastal Plain Conservation Group


Colectivo VientoSur

comite schone lucht NL

Comité Schone Lucht

Conservation North

De Klimaatcoalitie

Dibeen for Environmental Development

Dogwood Alliance

Earth Action, Inc. 3


Earth Insight

Earth League International (ELI)

Earth Thrive




Ei polteta tulevaisuutta

Elders Climate Action

Environment East Gippsland inc

Environmental Paper Network

Extinction Rebellion Western Massachusetts

Federatie tegen Biomassacentrales

Federation of Community Forestry Users, Nepal (FECOFUN)

Fellowship of Scientists and Engineers


Focus društvo za sonaraven razvoj

Forces for Nature, LLC

Forest Keeper


Forests of the World

Forum Ökologie & Papier Foundation Earth

Friends of Bats and Habitat Gippsland

Friends of the Earth United States

Front commun pour la protection de l’environnement et des espèces protégés


Gallatin Wildlife Association

Global Forest Coalition

Global Justice Ecology Project

Global Witness

Green Arlington MA

Green Impact

Green Planet

Greenish Foundation


Greenpeace Africa

Institute for Sustainable Development Foundation

Instytut Spraw Obywatelskich

Integrated Research & Action for Development

Kalang Environment Action Network

Landelijk Netwerk Bossen- en Bomenbescherming

Last Tree Laws

Latvian Ornithological Society



Mighty Earth

Ministry for Social Justice, Peace, and Creation Care – Sisters of St. Joseph of Toronto

Mobilisation for the Environment

National Wildlife Federation

Nature Canada

Nature Forward

Nature Nova Scotia

Nature Québec

NE Forest Watch

NJ Forest Watch

NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council)

Observatorio Ambiental Hispano

Old-Growth Forest Network

Oregon Wild Partnership for Policy Integrity

Pivot Point

Practical Action South Asia office, Kathmandu, Nepal

Rainforest Action Network

Rainforest Foundation



Save Estonia’s Forests

Silva Forest Foundation

Snupfen-Solidaires Meuse

Social Compassion in Legislation

Sociedad Amigos del Viento

Society for Responsible Design Solutions for Our Climate

Sport and Sustainability International

Stamp Out Poverty

Standing Trees

Stichting MOB

TEAL Climate

Teraz Lasy

The ChariTree Foundation

The Enviro Show

Third Act Vermont

Trend Asia

Tropica Verde e.V.

Turtle Island Restoration Network

Uganda Coalition for Sustainable Development / East African SusWatch Network

Victorian Forest Alliance

Wendell State Forest Alliance

Wild Heritage

Wild Nature Institute

Wilderness Australia

Wilderness Committee Women’s International League for Peace & Freedom (WILPF) Canada

Windfall Ecology Centre

Workshops for Biodiversity

World Animal Protection

World Friends for Africa Burkina Faso


21 Mar, 2024
Posted in Forests and Climate Change