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  Forest Services

As a resource, forests provide many important natural resources, such as timber, fuel, rubber, paper and medicinal plants. Forests also help sustain the quality and availability of freshwater supplies. More than three quarters of the world’s accessible freshwater comes from forested catchments. Water quality declines with decreases in forest condition and cover, and natural hazards such as floods, landslides, and soil erosion have larger impacts. 

Climate Change Mitigation
It’s well known that forests play a key role in our battle against climate change; storing carbon and sucking in carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and locking it into their biomass.
    
Products / Benefits (Water)     
But what’s less well known is that the products and services they provide are essential to every aspect of life. By regulating water for many of the world’s rivers, they help secure water quality, and supply nearly half of the world’s largest cities from Caracas to New York.   They also help decrease the impacts of storms and floods, whilst helping control erosion.  
   
Biodiversity     
As the most biologically diverse ecosystems on land, forests are home to more than half of terrestrial species, from the great apes to the smallest of creatures.   
  
Economics and Livelihoods    
They also provide homes, security and livelihoods for 60 million Indigenous peoples, whilst contributing to the livelihoods of 1.6 billion people worldwide.   
  
Products & Biodiversity     
The impact of forests reaches even further. In many developing countries more than 80% of total energy consumed by people and industry derives from forests. Such as fuel wood and charcoal. Trade in timber and other forest products, is estimated at almost 330 billion US Dollars /year. Its value multiplies as its processed into a myriad of products used globally every day. Use of the genetic diversity within forests enables the development of new medicines; progress in healthcare and science.

The Numbers

Forests cover 31% of total land area while at the same time supporting 80% of terrestrial biodiversity that live in them. Many of the world’s most threatened and endangered animals live in these forests, making them crucial to sustaining ecosystems. Not only animals live in the forests, as they also provide a home to more than 300 million people worldwide.

 

World Environment Day and Forests

World Environment Day (WED) chose this year’s theme, ‘Forests: Nature at Your Service’, to encourage forest conservation and sustainable consumption for green growth, and in support of the UN International Year of Forests initiative. Preserving forests throughout the world has to be in our collective consciousness so as to change our lifestyles.  

 

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