Forests

Forests are globally important in regulating climate and locally important in sustaining communities and supporting biodiversity. But they, and the people who depend on them, are under increasing pressure.

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Among the world’s greatest assets

 

for the climate

40 %

of the world’s oxygen is produced by rainforests

for biodiversity

80 %

of terrestrial biodiversity is in forests

for communities

1.6

billion people depend on forests


How we engage

IUCN works to build sustainable landscapes, protect primary forests and advance the rights of forest communities. Through its forest initiatives, IUCN helps countries implement effective forest and land-use policies, achieve national priorities and meet international commitments on climate change, biodiversity and land degradation.


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  • In the spotlight:

    Biodiversity in forest landscape restoration

    Biodiversity is inherently connected to forest landscape restoration, but conceptualising this relationship has been elusive – until now. A new publication called, ‘Biodiversity guidelines for forest landscape restoration opportunities assessments’ is intended to provide more context, more resources and fresh perspectives to the ongoing global interaction between biodiversity conservation and forest landscape restoration.

  • In the spotlight:

    Landscapes at your service

    A new publication called, "Landscapes at your service: Applications of the Restoration Opportunities Optimization Tool (ROOT)" takes a closer look at case studies in Brazil, Malawi, Myanmar, Colombia and Costa Rica where ROOT is applied, to connect ecosytem service trade-offs and beneficiaries with decision-making processess and large-scale FLR investments.

  • In the spotlight:

    The world's largest private sector

    Despite more than 1.5 billion smallholders across the world and the large collective scale of their production, policy makers have overlooked smallholders’ role as a powerful economic engine. A new publictation called, The world's largest private sector: Recognising the cumulative economic value of small-scale forest and farm producers brings this to light by presenting evidence suggesting that the value of smallholder production exceeds that of the world’s largest companies.

News

  • people sitting against concrete wall, dirt floor Photo: IUCN / Grace Baruka

    Governance grows in Mangai

    04.10.2018

    Establishing the Governance Working Group in the Mangai landscape in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is a crucial step in managing forests landscapes

  • words on left -plant growing on tree on right Photo: IUCN / Craig Beatty

    Challenges remain for halving natural forest loss by 2020, but restoration of forest landscapes brings hope

    28.09.2018

    According to the 2018 Progress Assessment of the New York Declaration on Forests, the world is not on track to meet global goals to halve natural forest loss globally by 2020 at the current pace. We take a look into this assessment with a focus on the...

  • forests at bottom, horizon with blue sky and white clouds at top Photo: J. Spiric

    Finding balance: perceptions of REDD+ in Mexico

    24.09.2018

    A look at the procedural legitimacy of the governance structures for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) in Mexico. A blog by Dr. Jovanka Špirić, postdoctoral researcher at the Environmental Geography Research Centre (CIGA) of...

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Publications

Learn more

looking straight up a big tree from the ground Photo: iStock / IUCN

Raising the profile of primary forests including intact forest landscapes

Although restored or even degraded forests can offer some degree of environmental and ecological functionality, they fall short of delivering the full and robust suite of benefits provided by primary forests including intact forest landscapes – forests free of significant human...
view along a sandy beach with water and mangroves on left Photo: IUCN / James Oliver

Mangrove restoration

Mangroves are critical coastal ecosystems that impact our lives. They nourish biodiversity as nursery grounds for many coastal and marine species and support fisheries. They buffer coastal communities against extreme weather events such as hurricanes, stabilise coastlines and slow or...
graphic with arrow on left people on right lots of words Photo: IUCN / Corbett Nash - icons adapted from UMCES IAN

Restoration Opportunities Assessment Methodology (ROAM)

The Restoration Opportunities Assessment Methodology (ROAM), produced by IUCN and the World Resources Institute (WRI), provides a flexible and affordable framework for countries to rapidly identify and analyse areas that are primed for forest landscape restoration (FLR) and to identify...
bonn challene logo with flower Photo: IUCN

The Bonn Challenge

The Bonn Challenge is a global effort to bring 150 million hectares of degraded and deforested land into restoration by 2020 and 350 million by 2030.

 

Quick reads

Aimed at policy-makers and journalists, IUCN Issues Briefs provide key information on selected issues in a two-pager format.

Thumbnail_CC and Forests issues brief Photo: IUCN

Forests and climate change

Forests are a stabilising force for the climate. They regulate ecosystems, protect biodiversity, play an integral part in the carbon cycle, support livelihoods, and supply goods and services that can...

Deforestation-Forest Degradation Issues Brief_thumbnail Photo: IUCN

Deforestation and forest degradation

Deforestation and forest degradation are the biggest threats to forests worldwide. Deforestation occurs when forests are converted to non-forest uses, such as agriculture and road construction....

Issues brief -  Palm oil and biodiversity Photo: IUCN

Palm oil and biodiversity

Palm oil is derived from the oil palm tree (Elaeis guineensis Jacq.), which is native to West Africa and grows best in tropical climates with abundant water. Three-quarters of total palm oil produced...

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