East and North-East Asia, a vast and diverse subregion, presents a range of environmental challenges. While China and Mongolia still face significant desertification threats, accounting for 25 and 77 percent of territories respectively, the subregion has expanded forest areas by 22.9 percent between 1990 and 2015, mostly attributable to reforestation in China. However, significant land use changes associated with economic development and demographic change have resulted in 36 percent of endemic species facing extinction risk. The extinction risk for endemic species could be as high as 59 percent if all species about which data is deficient are threatened.25 Furthermore, apart from land restoration efforts, the increase of forest areas has not been driven by improving domestic consumption and production patterns but substituting domestic resources with international trade. In particular, China, Japan and the Republic of Korea accounted for 19.1 percent of the trade of global timber products and 51.8 percent of the trade of tropical timber products in 2018.26 Thus, the subregion has the task of not only improving biodiversity conservation and sustainable land and forest management but also reducing its ecological footprint in forest and biodiversity outside the subregion.

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