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.
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.