CIFOR welcomes Leaders’ Statement on action for forests at COP21

The Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) has welcomed the Leaders’ Statement on Forests and Climate Change, a joint statement by 17 forest and donor countries released in Paris on 30 November, alongside the opening of the UN climate change conference.

“The Leaders’ Statement on forests is very encouraging as it clearly lays down the broad and significant contributions that forests and forestry make to sustainable development,” CIFOR’s Director General Peter Holmgren said.

“I applaud the Leaders’ Statement for its holistic perspective on forests and wider landscape, their essential multiple products and services to society, the variety of stakeholders, and the role that climate actions can have to secure the benefits of forests and forestry for future generations,” he added.

In the statement, the leaders endorse forests as a key climate solution, and commit to strong, collective and urgent action on forests. The statement sets out the important contributions of forests, both economic and environmental.

Most of the 17 countries that originally signed the statement are either forest countries where CIFOR conducts its research or donor countries that fund that research.

“The Leaders’ Statement rightly recognizes the multiple challenges of meeting the economic aspirations of societies around the world and wise use of forest resources,” said Louis Verchot, CIFOR’s Director of Research and Environment.

“To achieve the desired outcomes, new knowledge and innovation are going to be required. Policies need to be based on the best available evidence, and implementation needs to be monitored to ensure that outcomes are equitable,” he added.

The role of new knowledge and innovation in achieving climate and development goals is the subject of CIFOR’s official side event at COP21, to be held on 3 December at 3 pm.

To read more about the Leaders’ Statement and accompanying pledges, visit