Forests are Home for Local Communities

Forest resources directly support the livelihoods of 90% of the 1.2 billion people living in extreme poverty and are home to nearly 90% of the world’s terrestrial biodiversity. Local communities depend on forests as a source of fuel, food, medicines and shelter. The loss of forests jeopardises poverty alleviation.

Indigenous and forest-dependant peoples are stewards of their forests, providing the rest of humanity with vital ecosystem services (ES). Climate change will hit the poorest the hardest and so reducing deforestation will help build their resilience to climate impacts.

From local to global scales, forests provide essential ecosystem services beyond carbon storage – such as watershed protection, water flow regulation, nutrient recycling, rainfall generation and disease regulation. Old growth forests also soak up carbon dioxide from the atmosphere – offsetting human (anthropogenic) emissions.

Protecting tropical rainforests has a double-cooling effect, by reducing carbon emissions and maintaining high levels of evaporation from the canopy.

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