Rainforests are crucial for avoiding climate catastrophe – recent cuts in deforestation mean wealthy nations must act

COP28 is a great opportunity for countries to create real change by matching funding for rainforest protection with the significant recent cuts in deforestation achieved by rainforest countries.

AMAZON: Arial view of the Amazon Rainforest. Photo: Shutterstock

By Kristin Rødland Buick and Hanne Brown.

"Deforestation is decreasing in major rainforest countries such as Brazil, Colombia, and Indonesia. At COP28, wealthier countries must embrace this historic moment of political will and come up with the necessary and promised funding," says Toerris Jaeger, executive director of Rainforest Foundation Norway.

In Brazil, deforestation is halved in the first half of 2023, following Lula's inauguration in January. In the Colombian Amazon, deforestation has been reduced by 70% over the first nine months of the year and in Indonesia, deforestation is down by 90% since 2015.

Forest and climate change are intrinsically linked

The links between the health of forests and climate change have never been more apparent. The ongoing and unprecedented drought in the Amazon serves as a clear warning sign that one of the most biodiverse ecosystems on the planet is not only key to combat the climate crisis, but itself vulnerable to rising global temperatures.

The upcoming 28th Conference of the Parties (COP28) presents a crucial opportunity for world leaders to recommit to ending deforestation by 2030, as previously pledged in past COPs.

Increase funding to protect, restore and sustainably manage forests

"To achieve zero deforestation by 2030, significantly increased funding and emission cuts are imperative. The Global Stocktake at COP28 must reflect the situation's urgency and prioritize long-lasting protection, restoration, and sustainable management of tropical rainforests" said Toerris Jaeger.

He added that new and additional funding aligned with the ambitions of the Paris Agreement and the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework is now crucial.

Congolese man sitting in a semi-circle viewing documents. Photo.

SUSTAINABLE: One of RFNs partner organisations in DR Congo visiting a local community in the rainforest. We support Indigenous peoples and local communities so that they can preserve and manage their rainforests sustainably Photo: Julie Forchhammer

Indigenous forest funding must be ‘fit for purpose’

While progress has been made in recognizing the role of Indigenous peoples and local communities (IPLCs) in forest conservation, more needs to be done to ensure funding is appropriate and relevant for these communities to see real and effective results.

"Enhanced efforts are required to direct more support to the Indigenous and local community organizations that tirelessly manage and defend their forest areas against destruction," added Jaeger.

Increase commitment in national climate and biodiversity targets

"With only one-third of the original intact tropical rainforest cover remaining, urgent action is needed to replace destruction with large-scale restoration,” says Toerris Jaeger, executive director of Rainforest Foundation Norway.

He stresses that countries must reflect this commitment in their national climate targets (NDCs) and the new Biodiversity Action Plans (NBSAPs) due before COP16 under the Convention on Biodiversity next year.

Contact Rainforest Foundation Norway (RFN)

For all media enquiries, please contact:

Kristin Buick, WhatsApp: +47 456 562 77

Hanne Brown, WhatsApp: +47 93410597

RFN delegation leads:

30th November to 8th December: Torbjørn Gjefsen, Email:, WhatsApp: +47 970 16 842

9th December to 12th December: Anders Haug Larsen, Email:, WhatsApp: +47 932 17 626

RFN and partners events at COP28

Rainforest Foundation Norway will be present at COP28 in Dubai with partners from across the tropics and will be hosting and taking part in several events. All events will be in the Blue Zone, local time.

Anders Haug Larsen

International Advocacy Director
(+47) 932 17 626

Torbjørn Gjefsen

Senior Adviser, Policy
(+47) 970 16 842