Frequently asked questions

How is the pandemic affecting forests and biodiversity? What role can forests play in global economic recovery?
These questions and more are covered in these answers to frequently asked questions.

Key messages

  • Forests offer a means for building back better in the aftermath of the pandemic.
    Restoration of degraded forests and landscapes is an important pathway to recovery from the pandemic. Green recovery investments not only create jobs and income but also mitigate the risk of future zoonotic diseases.

  • Wildlife trade is a factor in the emergence of new diseases.
    Wild animals are important sources of food, income and cultural identity for millions. Rising populations and consumer demand for wild meat, including in urban areas, has created markets that drive unsustainable wildlife hunting and increase the risk of spillover of wildlife-related pathogens to humans.

  • Biodiversity loss, deforestation and forest fragmentation have amplified health risks such as COVID-19.
    Deforestation and forest fragmentation bring people and livestock into closer contact with wildlife, increasing human–wildlife conflicts and the risk of disease transmission between them. Landscape changes and biodiversity loss involve major shifts in the ecology of pathogens and the wildlife species they use as hosts and reservoirs, thus altering disease patterns. Approximately 70% of emerging infectious diseases and almost all recent epidemics have originated in animals, especially wildlife.

  • The pandemic has caused disruptions in forest production and trade, putting livelihoods and businesses at risk.
    Globally, trade in forest products declined by about 8% due to the pandemic (January-November 2020 compared to January-November 2019). Forest workers with minimal social support – such as casual workers, micro, small and medium-sized businesses (MSMEs), small-scale farmers, and women – have been among the hardest-hit. MSMEs account for up to 80-90% of total forest-related jobs in some countries and employ formally about 40 million people in forestry worldwide.

Read all the key messages here







COVID-19 and logging
Practical checklist to help companies and workers in logging activities stay safe and prevent the spread of COVID-19.


Impacts of COVID-19 on wood value chains
This policy brief summarizes the findings from a global survey on the impacts of the COVID-19 on wood value chains and recovery measures from the forest sector.







Reducing future wildlife-borne spillover of disease
This white paper explains why spillover of disease from wildlife to humans occurs and what can prevent, detect and respond to future spillover events.


Build back better in a post COVID-19 world
This policy brief provides decisionmakers with a set of recommendations to prevent future epidemics caused by diseases from wildlife and wild meat. 






COVID-19 challenge: Zoonotic diseases and wildlife
CPW Members propose four guiding principles to assist practitioners in making practical responses to reduce the risk of pandemics originating from wild animals.


Sustainable forest solutions to COVID-19
CPF members call for integrating the conservation, restoration and sustainable management of all types of forests into recovery measures for the causes and impact of COVID-19.



      A better post-COVID-19 world with sustainable forest products
The Advisory Committee on Sustainable Forest-based Industries call upon FAO, the private sector and other stakeholders to jointly strengthen engagement.

Global emergence of infectious diseases
This policy brief addresses the global emergence of infectious diseases and links with consumption of wild meat, ecosystem disruption, habitat degradation and biodiversity loss.




Impacts of COVID-19 on the forest sector: How to respond?
This brief highlights some impacts of the COVID-19 crisis on the forest sector, with a particular emphasis on production and trade of forest products.





COVID-19 Forestry Webinar Week











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Webinar series on COVID-19 and the forest sector

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last updated:  Friday, September 3, 2021