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Singapore joins global group aiming to reduce forest loss, support sustainable development

Singapore joins global group aiming to reduce forest loss, support sustainable development

An aerial view of a coca field and remains of deforested trees in Guaviare department, Colombia in Nov 202 (File photo: AFP/Raul ARBOLEDA)

SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt: Singapore at the COP27 climate talks on Monday (Nov 7) joined a group of more than two dozen other countries that said would ensure they hold each other accountable for a pledge to end deforestation by 2030.

By joining the Forests and Climate Leaders’ Partnership (FCLP) as a member country, Singapore “commits to working with other members and partners to develop high integrity markets for forestry carbon credits, while implementing innovative and environmentally robust solutions to reduce forest loss, increase restoration and support sustainable development", said the National Climate Change Secretariat (NCCS) in a joint press release with the Ministry of Sustainability and the Environment (MSE) and the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) on Monday (Nov 7).

“Singapore is delighted to be part of the Forest and Climate Leaders’ Partnership, to work with like-minded partners on innovative and environmentally robust solutions that would unlock the potential of the forestry sector for climate action, while reducing the loss of forests worldwide,” said Minister for Sustainability and the Environment Grace Fu.

“The partnership will help scale up and support the development of high integrity markets for forestry carbon credits, in advancing global climate ambition,” she added.

Singapore's participation builds upon its commitments under the “Glasgow Leaders’ Declaration on Forests and Land Use” to halt and reverse deforestation and land degradation by 2030, said NCCS, MSE and MTI.

Singapore’s participation in the FCLP is also aligned with the country’s efforts in "facilitating international acceptance of high-quality forestry carbon credits".

“We will explore how public-private partnerships can leverage carbon markets to unlock new revenue streams to cost effectively reduce emissions, while preserving nature and biodiversity."

Singapore will participate in the group’s inaugural meeting on Nov 12.


The new group - which includes Japan, Pakistan, the Republic of Congo, the United Kingdom and others - accounts for roughly 35 per cent of the world's forests and aims to meet twice a year to track progress.

Notable omissions from the group are Brazil with its Amazon rainforest and the Democratic Republic of Congo whose vast forests are home to endangered wildlife including gorillas.

"This partnership is a critical next step to collectively deliver on this promise and help keep the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius alive," Britain's Alok Sharma, who presided over last year's COP talks, said in a statement.

The statements said that around 22 per cent of the US$12 billion in public money pledged for forests by 2025, funds committed in Glasgow, had so far been disbursed.

Among the new sources of financing, Germany said it would double its financing for forests to 2 billion euros (US$1.97 billion) through 2025.

The first meeting of the Forest and Climate Leaders' Partnership, chaired by Ghana and the United States, takes place a year after more than 140 leaders promised at COP26 in Britain to end deforestation by the end of the decade.

Progress since has been patchy, with only a few countries instituting more aggressive policies on deforestation and financing.


Private companies announced US$3.6 billion in extra money. They include investment firm SouthBridge Group, creating a US$2 billion fund for restoration efforts in Africa, the region with the most tropical rainforest after South America.

Volkswagen Group and H&M Group signed up to a separate initiative, The LEAF Coalition, launched at COP26, in which governments and companies pay countries with tropical and subtropical forests for emissions reductions.

Ecuador also became the first country to sign a memorandum of agreement with Emergent, coordinator of the coalition, that aims to see a binding Emissions Reduction Payment Agreement signed by the end of April 2023. South Korea also agreed to be the first Asian government to provide finance for the coalition, joining founders Britain, Norway and the United States.

"The need is urgent - for the climate, for biodiversity and the people that depend on forests," Emergent Chief Executive Eron Bloomgarden said. Other initiatives towards meeting the 2030 forest pledge also announced incremental progress at the opening of COP27.

A coalition of 25 governments and charities said that 19 per cent of US$1.7 billion promised to indigenous communities to promote land rights and forest protection had been paid out.

But despite a promise to pay most of the money directly to local communities, roughly half of the funds were routed through international nongovernmental organisations. Only 7 per cent of went to community-led groups, which the coalition said needs to be corrected.

A separate initiative by investors to push companies to eliminate deforestation by 2025 said that Swiss asset manager GAM Investments, UK pension manager London CIV, SouthBridge and Banco Estado de Chile had all joined the alliance.

In September, the initiative announced standards that companies should follow to trace commodities and disclose links to deforestation.

Source: CNA/Agencies/ec(rj)


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