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.


Wildlife in a changing climate FAO Wildlife and Protected Area officer Edgar Kaeslin highlights the case of mountain gorillas in Rwanda (the original 'gorillas in the mist') who are under threat due to climate change. [more]
Papua New Guinea: First National Forest Inventory and Biodiversity Survey Papua New Guinea is embarking on its first national forest inventory (NFI) under the arrangements for reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD)+. [more]
Protecting Mongolia's forests An FAO programme that helps local communities in Mongolia to protect their own forests is being seen as a model for action in the Asia-Pacific region. The Participatory Forest Management project has effectively stopped illegal logging and forest fires in 15 pilot districts since it began in 2007. [more]



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 More publications

Expert interviews

Healthy forest genetic resources are crucial for restoration and industry 10 May 2018 Dr. K. M. A. Bandara, Director/Conservator of Forests (Education) at the Sri Lanka Forestry Institute explains that forest genetic resources are crucial for restoration programmes and for a healthy forest industry as they are the materials out of which our forests, both natural and planted, are made. [more]
Coping with the impacts of climate change: How Forest Genetic Resources can help 9 May 2018 Making the best use of forest genetic resources in order to grow stronger, healthier trees is vital to helping cope with climate change, according to Dr. Randi Johnson, Chair, Intergovernmental Technical Working Group on Forest Genetic Resources and Director, Division of Global Climate Change, Institute of Bioenergy, Climate, and Environment, National Institute of Food and Agriculture, United States Department of Agriculture. [more]


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


last updated:  Friday, June 15, 2018