Forests and Trees for Human Health: Pathways, Impacts, Challenges and Response Options. A Global Assessment Report.

The United Nations estimates that less than half of the global population is covered by essential health services. Adding to the low rate of coverage, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has caused further healthcare disruptions that could reverse decades of improvements. Moreover, in recent years, there has been a surge in zoonotic diseases such as COVID-19, SARS, MERS, Ebola, Malaria, and the avian flu, and illness and deaths from such diseases are expected to spike in the future. Several studies have concluded that nature, particularly forests, contributes to physical and mental well-being and can notably improve human health.

The implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) can strengthen the momentum for combatting these pressing challenges. The third Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 3) aims to ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages. This global assessment report aims to contribute to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development by highlighting the nexus between SDG 3: Good Health and Well-Being and SDG 15: Life on Land, as well as relevant links to other SDGs.

A total of 44 scientists and experts contributed to this assessment, with a core Expert Panel of 16 scientists with diverse expertise, including forestry, ecology, landscape design, psychology, medicine, epidemiology, and public health.

The report was launched on the International Day of Forests 2023. You can watch the video of the event on our IUFRO YouTube channel.

Author: Editors: Cecil Konijnendijk, Dikshya Devkota, Stephanie Mansourian and Christoph Wildburger

Publisher: International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO)

Language: English

Year: 2023

Ecosystem(s): Forests

Location(s): Global

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