Glasgow Leaders’ Declaration on Forests and Land Use

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A statement by UNCCD Executive Secretary Ibrahim Thiaw

With the Glasgow Leaders’ Declaration on Forests and Land Use, the world has put nature and sustainable land use at the heart of the global battle against climate change and biodiversity loss. And not a moment too soon!

At UNCCD, we know the conservation, protection, sustainable management and restoration of terrestrial ecosystems, including forests and trees, is crucial to our survival as a species and to our collective efforts to combat the worst effects of land degradation, desertification and drought.  

We welcome the Glasgow Leaders’ Declaration and look forward to working, in partnership with all stakeholders, on its practical application and the transition to truly sustainable land use. Nature positive agricultural production can go hand in hand with people-centred development when rights are respected and good practices are incentivised. 

The bold agenda set out in the Declaration can stop the loss of our precious forests and productive land. To achieve this, it is essential that the Declaration moves rapidly to an implementation phase to mitigate climate change and reduce the vulnerability of rural people and their livelihoods worldwide. 

UNCCD and its partners are already working to ensure commitments under the Nationally Determined Contributions and UNCCD’s voluntary Land Degradation Neutrality targets are turned into a pipeline of bankable projects for investment by the public and private sector; there are hundreds of millions of hectares of forests and degraded land with the potential to be restored that have already been identified. 

We will go further and faster though by accelerating the transition to an economy that is resilient to climate shocks and advances forest, sustainable land use, biodiversity and climate goals together. 


The United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) is the only legally binding international agreement on land issues. The Convention promotes good land stewardship. Its 197 Parties aim, through partnerships, to implement the Convention and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. The end goal is to protect our land, from over-use and drought, so it can continue to provide us all with food, water and energy. By sustainably managing land and striving to achieve land degradation neutrality, now and in the future, we will reduce the impact of climate change, avoid conflict over natural resources and help communities to thrive.

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