Key messages

  • Forests are home to over 80% of terrestrial biodiversity. 
  • In the Amazon basin alone, more than 1,300 species of forest plants are used for medicinal or cultural purposes.
  • Conservation of biodiversity is the primary management objective for 13 percent of the world’s forests (FRA 2015).
  • Up to 1,200 plant species have been confirmed as extinct. Deforestation of closed tropical rainforests accounts for the loss of most species.    
  • Losing forest diversity means missing opportunities for medicines, food, raw materials and employment opportunities. 
  • Wild animals play an important role in maintaining healthy ecosystems and contribute to food security and livelihoods of rural communities.




FAO Forestry Officer, Albert Nikiema, elaborates on the need for improved management of genetic resources

Linda Collette, Secretary of the Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture

Field projects

The FAO Forestry Programme focuses on how to maximize the potential of forests, trees and related resources to improve people’s economic, social and environmental conditions while ensuring that the resource is conserved to meet the needs of future generations.

FAO works to improve the knowledge on sustainable forest and wildlife management, and supports the development  and implementation of appropriate policies and practices to ensure forest and wildlife protection in order to maintain or improve their capacity to produce wood and non-wood products, sustain wildlife populations, conserve biodiversity, safeguard wildlife habitat, mitigate climate change, and protect soils and watersheds.


last updated:  Monday, October 17, 2016