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Meridian Institute

United Nations Secretary-General's Climate Leaders Summit

External Project Site: www.un.org/climatechange/summit/action-areas/#forests
Related: Climate Change and Energy, Environment and Natural Resources

Meridian Institute coordinated and facilitated a multistakeholder planning process in service of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to prepare for tropical-forest-themed events at the UN Secretary-General’s 2014 Climate Summit in New York City. The Climate Summit was convened to catalyze action to reduce emissions and strengthen climate resilience as well as mobilize political will for an ambitious global climate agreement in 2015.

Meridian Institute facilitated a process that brought together a diverse coalition of key forest stakeholders to deliver mutually supportive commitments to announce at the Climate Summit under the auspices of the Forests Action Area. The signature forest-related commitment announced was the New York Declaration on Forests (available in project documents), through which 180 endorsees—including national and subnational governments, companies, indigenous peoples organizations, and nongovernmental organizations—committed to cutting natural forest loss in half by 2020 and ending it by 2030. All told, the estimated impact of achieving the full suite of forest-related outcomes from the Summit could reduce emissions by 4.5 billion to 8.8 billion tons per year by 2030.

At the Summit, Meridian Institute helped to design two forest-themed events. The first was the Forest Plenary Session at the UN General Assembly, co-chaired by Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg and former Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and moderated by UNDP Administrator Helen Clark. The second was a set of activities that took place at the Forest Pavilion and provided an all-day opportunity for the full complement of government, private sector, civil society, and indigenous stakeholders to showcase specific commitments to save tropical forests and to amplify the urgent call for action represented by the Declaration.

Watch this video for more information on the Declaration: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NX8HByqA4aE.