What is key to preserving forests?

Around 500 million people depend directly on forests for their livelihoods, but these forests which provide us all with food, water, clean air, medicines and store carbon dioxide are under threat.

In recognition of the first annual International Day of Forests, a blog post by the World Resources Institute looks at 5 key lessons from the World Forest summit.

Among these is finding opportunities in forest restoration, such as through agroforestry that can involve and benefit local people. One example is the African Re-greening Initiative where farmers are actively participation in regeneration through building agroforestry systems.

The other key lessons are:

  • Understanding the value of forests for the long-term services they provide (carbon sequestration, water filtering, food etc.) not just their immediate market value. This requires placing an economic value on forests.
  • Managing forests so that forest-dependent communities are involved and benefit.
  • Halting the illegal timber trade. This could be partially achieved by increasing demand for sustainably produced forest products as well as building and enforcing stronger legal frameworks in the forest sector.
  • Developing new partnerships both inside and outside the forest sector, such as with agricultural, mining, infrastructure, pharmaceutical, and financial industries who all have a role to play

The article includes a video message from His Royal Highness Prince Charles on the value of forests.

Read the full story: 5 Lessons for Sustaining Global Forests