Published on the International Day for Biological Diversity, The State of the World's Forests 2020, highlights that since 1990, some 420 million hectares of trees have been lost to agriculture and other land uses.
And the COVID-19 crisis has thrown into sharp focus the link between people's health and that of the ecosystem, underscoring the importance of conserving and sustainably using nature.
"Deforestation and forest degradation continue to take place at alarming rates, which contributes significantly to the ongoing loss of biodiversity", Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Director-General, QU Dongyu, and Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), Inger Andersen, said in the foreword.
Working with nature
Protecting the world's biodiversity is entirely dependent on the way in which we interact with the world's forests. And as they harbour most of our terrestrial biodiversity, safeguarding woodland holds the key.
The report shows that forests contain 60,000 different tree species, 80 per cent of amphibian species, 75 per cent of bird species, and 68 per cent of the earth's mammal species.
Conservation and sustainable use can work together to protect plants, animals and livelihoods.
Within the report, a special study from the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission and the US Forest Service, found 34.8 million patches of forests in the world, ranging in size from one to 680 million hectares – illustrating that greater restoration efforts are urgently needed to reconnect forests that have fragmented over time.
A conversation on wildlife conservation and travel
Welcome to Conservation Mag where we celebrate nature through ecotourism and wildlife travel while we look for ways to preserve our heritage by supporting nature conservation. Starting conversations about the positive action people like you and I are taking to make a change, we discover and discuss strategies that result in the expansion of natural areas.