On Monday in Sharm el-Sheikh more than two dozen countries promised to hold each other accountable for their pledges to end deforestation in eight years. At last year’s talks in Glasgow, over 100 countries representing more than 85% of Earth’s forests joined the Forest and Climate Leaders’ Partnership, but progress is far from on track with global deforestation outpacing replanting efforts in the last two years. The destruction of primary, also known as “old growth,” forests is especially detrimental as existing forests sequester massive amounts of carbon, in addition to providing numerous other human and wildlife benefits. Separately, a group of countries especially hard-hit by drought announced the creation of an alliance to share technology and expertise on water scarcity. Senegal and Spain will head the 25-nation, 20-NGO International Drought Resilience Alliance. (Deforestation: Reuters, Washington Post $; Drought alliance: Reuters)