Deforestation continues globally, if at a slower pace

19 Jun 2020

Forests underpin life on Earth. Globally, around 2.4 billion people or one third of the entire human population depend directly on forests for wood for cooking their daily meals. And we all depend on forests in less tangible ways to provide the services that support life such as food, oxygen and pollination. Forested watersheds provide three quarters of accessible freshwater, and forests can provide 30% of the greenhouse gas mitigation required by 2030 to keep global warming to below 2%. We need to find sustainable ways to manage forests, more urgently than ever, to nurture rather than undermine the life-supporting services that forests provide and on which life on this planet depends – services that will play a key role in our resilience during and after the Covid-19 pandemic by supporting life and livelihoods in so many different ways.

But to do so in a targeted manner, we need to understand the status of our forests. In mid-May 2020, the Key Findings of the Global Forest Resources Assessment were published, quantifying the global trends in terms of forest extent and rates of loss. This enables us to gauge how effective efforts made so far have been, and how far we still have to go to secure forests and their ecosystem services for current and future generations.

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