Forests make up 31 per cent of the land area on our planet and are a direct source of food, energy and income for more than a billion of the world’s poorest people; they also store carbon and mitigate climate change, preserve water and soil health, and prevent desertification. However, many forests are not being sustainably managed and the world’s forested area is declining, mainly because of land use changes and agricultural expansion.
Green growth policies can be used to strengthen the forest sector while generating higher value from natural assets. For example, consumer and business demand for certified wood products is growing, and the area of certified forest has increased from 3.24 million hectares in 1995 to 180.44 million hectares in 2013 (Biodiversity Indicator Partnership, 2014). The Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) scheme offers financial incentives to developing countries that reduce emissions from deforestation and degradation while investing in low-carbon paths to sustainable development. With the right programmes and policies, forestry can lead the way towards sustainable, greener economies, including higher incomes and jobs.
Relevance to SDGs
Forestry is particularly relevant to Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 15 around issues of biologically diversity, deforestation and the restoration of degraded forests.
Explore green growth resources related to SDG 15: