Forests under threat

Forests are incredibly valuable, not only for the survival of people but for the rest of the planet.

They cover nearly 1/3 of land on Earth (4.06 billion hectares), but they’re under threat. Although the rate of forest loss has declined substantially, an estimated 420 million hectares of forest has been lost since 1990. Not only is this bad news for wildlife (many scientists agree we’re experiencing a 6th mass extinction) and the fight to mitigate climate change, it’s also bad news for humans.

Clearance for palm oil (c) A. Pauletto
A. Pauletto

Deforestation and forest degradation

"Deforestation and forest degradation are the biggest threats to forests worldwide. Deforestation occurswhen forests are converted to non-forest uses, such as agriculture and road construction. Forest degradation occurs when forest ecosystems lose their capacity to provide important goods and services to people and nature," IUCN

Deforestation and forest degradation increase greenhouse gas emissions, disrupt water cycles, increase soil erosion and disrupt livelihoods.

Forests and land use

"To have any chance of keeping below 1.5 degrees of global warming, we need to value the services that healthy forests can provide" - David Attenborough narrates this film on forests & land use from the UN Climate Change conference 2021 (COP26).

Protecting and managing forests

"Protection and sustainable management of forests is a crucial element in any solution to the world’s climate crisis. Without increased efforts to protect forests, it will not be possible to meet the ambition of the Paris Agreement to hold the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C."

"FSC certification of forests, including certification by Indigenous Peoples of their territories, can be an important part of the solution going forward."

Kim Carstensen, Director General, FSC International