Amid the worldwide outbreak of COVID-19, two questions arise – where did it come from? And what can we do to stop it happening again ?

Deforestation is being identified as a significant factor in the increase in infectious diseases. Research shows that habitat loss resulting from forest loss leads to greater human-animal contact, which increases the chances of diseases such as COVID-19 and other coronaviruses spreading to humans. (Source: Chain Reaction Research).

The global pandemic we are currently facing highlights how deforestation is not only an environmental problem but a public health risk as well, adding to the list of negative impacts. Deforestation is a major factor in the climate crisis, contributing to approximately 15 percent of annual greenhouse gas emissions. It also accelerates biodiversity loss, displaces indigenous peoples, and reduces the ability of forests to act as natural carbon sinks. Deforestation is also often linked to social and economic harm, including human rights issues and labour violations.

As we plan the global recovery from the crisis, a zero deforestation future will be a central component.

And as we keep working to protect important vulnerable ecosystems, the Theory of Change is the theoretical background guiding the UNDP Green Commodities Programme's global targets, expected outcomes and delivery strategies. Through GCP, UNDP contributes to the transformation of key commodity sectors through a systemic and integrated approach that improves the enabling environment for sustainable agriculture by bringing all changemakers together to build a shared vision for action.

An effective enabling environment consists of elements such as clear public policies, a well-functioning legal framework, clarity regarding land-use planning, effective enforcement mechanisms, accessible credit structures, and effective farmer extension services. The Theory of Change outlines how all of these pieces must work together to achieve long-term systemic change. To access the full document, click on the image below.

 

From UNDP GCP's Theory of Change. To access the full document, click on the image.