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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Forests bring hope

 

for new life

500 million

hectares show potential for forest landscape restoration

from old life

up to 70 %

more CO2 sequestered by primary forests than degraded forests

for our lives

2.4 billion

people depend on forests and wood for energy 


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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News

  • man in field with others planting trees Photo: IUCN / Donatha Dukuzumuremyi

    How Rwanda became a restoration leader

    31.03.2020

    Rwanda is the Land of a Thousand Hills, but are these hills still healthy and productive? This is the story of how a small east African country took the unprecedented initiative to restore lands that had lost the ability to support people and biodiversity.

  • 80 people sitting in blue plastic chairs outside in a circle Photo: IUCN

    Communities step up to manage their natural resources

    05.03.2020

    Ghana lost about 60% of its forest cover in just over 50 years, and at the current deforestation rate of approximately 2% per year (135,000 ha/year), the situation is expected to get worse. The government has taken measures to address this, now it’s time for...

  • bridge and stream Photo: shutterstock image 116041936

    Unpacking the complex relationship between forest age and river flows

    14.02.2020

    As the global restoration movement gains momentum and large-scale forest landscape restoration activities are implemented, there is a need for a better understanding of the links between increasing forest cover and river flow. Does age matter?

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Publications

Learn more

ECCA30 in white letters in front of trees Photo: IUCN

ECCA30 launch at UN Climate Action Week

New forest landscape restoration initiative in Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia to launch 22 September at UN Climate Action Week in New York. ECCA countries will bring 30 million hectares of degraded and deforested land into restoration by 2030.

 

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...
cartoon- arrow pointing up on right and words an people on right 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...
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...

Quick reads

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

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...
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....
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