Global leaders unite to save tropical forests at the Good Growth Conference
Lima, May 13. Today, the Good Growth Conference in Peru gathered over 300 national and international experts, in search of innovative solutions to deforestation in forests around the world caused in many occasions by unsustainable commodities production. Natural resources with high economic value globally, like cacao and coffee, but whose traditional production has a high negative impact in the environment.
Climate change and the evergrowing human intervention are driving forests around the world towards a breaking point. According to the last report by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), between the years 1980 and 200, over 100 million hectares of tropical forests worldwide were devastated and more than 40% of this loss happened in Latin America, mainly as a result of inadecuate expansion of agricultural practices.
More than half of all Peruvian territory is covered in forest and it is exactly in this space where some of the best coffee and cacao varieties in the world are harvested. The drive towards achieveing a sustainable production for these commodities is what has made of Peru the host of this important event, this positions its leadership in the global fight to save our endangered forests.
The conference was inaugurated by Peru’s president, Martín Vizcarra, alongside UNDP Peru’s Resident Representative María del Carmen Sacasa and the president of the Global Environmental Facility, Naoko Ishii.
“Peru is a megadiverse country but it is also one that greatly suffers the effects of climate change. We have to act now. Not only have we enacted laws, we have taken action on the field. Our duty as human beings is to find a way to revert this situation,” remarked the head of state, Martín Vizcarra, who also mentioned the government-led efforts to restore the land located in La Pampa, Madre de Dios, previously contaminated by illegal mining.
“We’re proving that this problem can be solved. We must have the presence of the State and its protection in these territories, but also offer new development plans. We’re here to stay, to stop deforestation and revert it. It is a responsibility shared by the entire government,” said the public official.
Naoko Ishii focused on the need of “a transformation in all aspects of our economy and society to avoid the catastrophic consequences of climate change” and highlighted the efforts each country is making to tackle deforestation.
Meanwhile, Maria del Carmen Sacasa reinforced the forum being a “great opportunity to place local leaders as global drivers of sustainable development” and added that for this to happen we “have to go forward in the co-creation of integrated, innovative solutions and allow cross-learning between communities, of what worked but also of what didn’t.”
The opening session also had the participation of the Peruvian Minister of Environment, Lucía Ruiz, the Peruvian Minister of Agriculture, Fabiola Muñoz, the Ecuadorian Minister of Agriculture, Xavier Lazo, and the Ecuadorian Minister of Environment, Marcelo Mata, among other high profile official, business entrepeneurs, and representatives of producers and local communities of countries such as Brazil, Indonesia, Liberia, Paraguay, Germany and Switzerland.
The Good Growth Conference is a unique opportunity to exchange perspectives and experiences among the participating countries, in order to guide commodities toward sustainability, protecting our forests, promoting innovative alliances and generating decent employment for agricultural families in line with the Sustainable Development Goals.
From May 14 to 17, the conference will continue in San Martín with national and international experts participating in field visits, learning sessions and networking.
The Good Growth Conference is being held under the framework of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), with financing from the Global Environment Facility (GEF), and in collaboration with the World Wildlife Foundation (WWF), International Conservation (IC), the United Nations Environment Programme (UN Environment) and the International Finance Corporation (IFC).