Forests cover nearly one-third of the Earth’s surface and are key to combating climate change, protecting biodiversity, and food security and shelter. When we protect the forests, we strengthen natural resource management, increase land productivity and help to mitigate climate risk.
Despite the essential nature of forests, thirteen million hectares of trees are lost each year, and degradation of drylands has led to the desertification of 3.6 billion hectares. Biodiversity is at extreme risk, and deforestation and desertification of land caused by human activity pose major challenges to sustainable development. The lives and livelihoods of millions of people depend on the preservation of these key ecological spaces.
Efforts are being made to manage forests and prevent increased desertification, including international agreements to promote the equitable use of natural resources. But more financial investments in support of biodiversity need to be made.