The Health of Forests

Protecting the life on land is the main topic of SDG15, that appeals to sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss.

Contributions of Forests and Trees
Forests and trees make essential contribution to the planet by bolstering livelihoods, providing clean air and water, conserving biodiversity and responding to climate change.

  • An estimated 50 percent of the fruit we eat come from trees
  • The livelihoods and food security of around 250 million rural poor depend on vibrant forests and trees
  • Our forests are our water fountains. They provide much of the drinking water for over 1/3 of the worldäs largest cities
  • Around one-third of the world’s population, or about 2.4 billion people, make use of wood to provide basic energy services such as cooking, boiling water and heating.
  • From tackling poverty and hunger to mitigating climate change and conserving biodiversity, the positive impacts of forest and trees are fundamental to our existence.
  • Acting as carbon sinks, forests absorb the equivalent of roughly 2 billion tones of carbon dioxide each year.
  • Children are generally more active when they access to green spaces. The obesity rate of children living in areas with good access to green spaces is 11-19% lower than in those who have limited or no access.

2 thoughts on “The Health of Forests”

  1. Monika Kis

    Very interesting post! You provided a lot of information. I didn’t know for example that 1/3 of the drinking water comes from the forest for the world largest cities. It really seems that forests are at the core of stopping climate change. But how sad it is that after the countries pledge themselves to minimise and stop deforestation, the numbers are rising high with a very quick speed.

    I liked that you pointed out that forest are not for trade. They should be considered as pre-condition for life. They are nobody’s, because they are everybody’s. They belong to the planet.

    Thank you for your post!

  2. Hi Ju Gu,

    Your article is comprehensive and to the point. The rapid rate of deforestation and its effects on animals and ecosystems is a tragedy stemming directly from human greed, so you did well to point out that corporate lobbying of govt. in prioritising profit over forests, needs to stop.

    Because we are at a critical choice-point for the future of the planet, your article is the kind of fact-driven notice we all need to reconfigure our values and start putting the earth first. I was glad you mentioned indigenous ways of managing land as being potentially more sustainable. I come from Australia, where we are continuing to learn about how to sustain agriculture with the help of indigenous knowledge.

    We should not ignore the global effects of our personal choices, such as tourism. This seems to be a recurring theme of the course. It made me think about my own choices, and increased my empathy for non-human life. So thank you.


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