Global Witness welcomes the opportunity provided by Rio+20 to renew and strengthen global commitment to sustainable development. But the current Zero Draft text does not adequately address the urgency of the threats posed by rapid loss of the world’s natural forest ecosystems. Failing to tackle this critical issue will undermine the broader sustainable development objectives of the Rio+20 conference.
Global Witness strongly urges governments to make binding and time-bound commitments to halt the degradation and loss of forest ecosystems and increase the area of forests under sustainable management by indigenous peoples and local communities. Furthermore, the rights of indigenous peoples and local communities to forest lands and resources must be explicitly recognized in the Zero Draft. Finally, commitments to achieving sustainable consumption and production must address the role of international consumption patterns in the degradation and loss of forests ecosystems.