Britain says it has gained the backing of more than 100 countries to end deforestation, which scientists say is a major driver of climate change.
The U.K. government said Monday at this year's U.N. climate conference that it has received commitments from leaders representing more than 85 per cent of the world's forests to halt and reverse deforestation by 2030.
More than USD 19 billion in public and private funds have been pledged toward the plan, which is backed by countries including Brazil, China, Colombia, Congo, Indonesia, Russia and the United States.
Forests are considered important ecosystems and an important way of absorbing carbon dioxide — the main greenhouse gas — from the atmosphere.
But the value of wood as a commodity and the growing demand for agricultural and pastoral land are leading to widespread and often illegal felling of forests particularly in developing countries.
Campaign group Human Right Watch cautions that similar agreements in the past have failed to be effective.
Luciana Tellez Chavez, an environmental researcher at the group, says strengthening Indigenous people's rights would help prevent deforestation and should be part of the agreement.