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Leaders at this week's UN Climate Summit unveiled “The New York Declaration” on forests, which many hope will inject life into efforts to reverse forest loss.

While the Declaration is not an “official” UN agreement—and has been carefully worded to avoid the appearance of commitments being binding—it is a positive development. If governments and business take it seriously going forward—and civil society watchdogs hound them sufficiently to do so—it would yield significant impacts.

Recent research from WRI and the Rights and Resources Initiative found that the world’s 513 million hectares of legally recognized community forests store 37 billion tonnes of carbon—29 times the annual carbon footprint of the world’s passenger vehicles.

The impacts of oil extraction in Ecuador illustrate why secure community forest rights are necessary to protect both livelihoods and the environment.

Indonesia's parliament recently approved an agreement to reduce haze pollution from land and forest fires.

Ratification of the law—originally signed 12 years ago—comes not a moment too soon: Fires are currently flaring across southern Sumatra and West and Central Kalimantan, jeopardizing Indonesia’s forests and the communities and wildlife that call these regions home.

Note corrected time: 9:30 a.m. ET//1:30 p.m. GMT

WASHINGTON— Senior representatives from the World Resources Institute (WRI), including President Andrew Steer, will hold a press call to provide insights and context for the upcoming UN Climate Summit. The experts will focus on key areas where major announcements and developments are expected, especially around cities, forests, and finance.

The press call will take place on Friday, September 12 at 9:30 A.M. EDT//1:30 P.M. GMT.

WASHINGTON (September 4, 2014)— Global Forest Watch, a dynamic online forest monitoring and alert system developed by the World Resources Institute with over 40 partners, has been selected as one of two winners of the Big Data Climate Challenge, a global competition hosted by United Nations Global Pulse. The UN announced the winners as part of the buildup to the UN Secretary-General’s Climate Summit on 23 September at UN Headquarters in New York.


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