Sustainable forest management curbs forest degradation and deforestation while increasing direct benefits to people and the environment.
At the local level, sustainable forest management contributes to people's livelihoods, income generation and employment. At the environmental level, it contributes to, for example, carbon sequestration and water and soil conservation.
In 2010, forests covered about 31 percent of the world's total land area; about 4 033 million hectares.
Forests contain most of the world's terrestrial biodiversity and almost as much carbon as in the atmosphere.
Forests provide livelihoods for more than a billion people and are vital for conservation of biodiversity, energy supply, and soil and water protection.
Deforestation affected an estimated 13 million hectares per year between 2000 and 2010; net forest loss was 5.2 million hectares per year, due to afforestation and natural expansion.
Fire, forest pests and climate change are also contributing to loss of forests around the world.
4 November 2015 FAO and the Global Mechanism of the UNCCD have released an infographic with key messages, facts and figures on the costs and benefits of investments for forest and landscape restoration. Mechanisms of funding and risk coverage for investors are identified, with examples from diverse funding sources. [more]
4 November 2015 How can governments attract greater investments to restore forests and landscapes? Discussion paper outlines ways policymakers can build and foster an enabling environment and recommends mainstreaming FLR in state budgets, setting up appropriate financing mechanisms, engaging the private sector, and building alliances and partnerships. [more]
19 October 2015 FAO publishes key findings of global forest resources assessment. The world's forests continue to shrink as populations increase and forest land is converted to agriculture and other uses, but over the past 25 years the rate of net global deforestation has slowed down by more than 50 percent. [more]
24 June 2014 The challenge is to maintain and develop the socioeconomic benefits from forests while safeguarding the resource. The State of the World’s Forests 2014 argues that if the focus of data collection and policy is shifted from trees to people, forests can be sustainably managed to meet society’s growing demands. [more]
Planning sustainable forests Fernando Salinas, FAO Regional Office for Africa, talks about the Convergence Plan for the Sustainable Management and Utilization of the Forest Ecosystems in West Africa.