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  • Print publication year: 2019
  • Online publication date: December 2019

Chapter 13 - SDG 13: Climate Action – Impacts on Forests and People

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Summary

Climate change causes changes in forests, their ecological functions and ecosystem services. Many of these changes will negatively impact people, plants, animals and micro-organisms that depend on forests. SDG 13 aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change and drive adaptation actions. Current commitments are insufficient to reach the Paris Agreement goals of restricting warming to less than 2oC and increasing resilience of vulnerable communities. Better forest and land management can contribute up to 20 per cent of the Paris goals, while increasing community and ecosystem resilience, and help bridge this gap. Strong synergies between SDG 13 and forests can drive investment in sustainable forest management, forest restoration and forest conservation. However, achieving these synergies is challenged by unsustainable forest exploitation and pressures to develop land for agriculture, urban areas and infrastructure. Maximising potential synergies between forests and SDG 13 requires long-term finance and local collaboration, but currently only 3 per cent of climate finance is dedicated to forest actions, and much less is used for local implementation. Improved forest management and conservation can be achieved through more efficient use of the finance, increased investment from public and private sectors and stronger commitment to local actions.