Word coming in from the Sustainable Development Goals desk at the United Nations is that over 1,600,000,000 people all over the world depend on forests for their livelihood!



Forests cover nearly 31% of our planet’s land area.

From the air we breathe, to the water we drink, to the food we eat–forests sustain us.

Think about it. Around 1.6 billion people depend on forests for their livelihood.

Almost 75% of the world’s poor are affected directly by land degrada­tion.


Did you know that forests are home to more than 80 per cent of all terrestrial species of ani­mals, plants and insects?

And of the 8,300 animal breeds known, 8 per cent are extinct and 22 per cent are at risk of total extinction.


Biodiversity and the eco­system services it under­pins can also be the basis for climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction strategies as they can deliver bene­fits that will increase the resilience of people to the impacts of climate change.

Forests and nature are also important for recre­ation and mental well-be­ing.

In many cultures, natural landscapes are closely linked to spiritual values, religious beliefs and traditional teachings.

mountain stream in deep bulgarian forest


Now that you know all this, our goal, as a whole, here is to sustainably manage forests, combat deserti­fication, halt and reverse land degradation, and halt biodiversity loss.

Do you know have a clue about how much we need to part with to correct or mitigate this problem?

Deforestation in El Nido, Palawan – Philippines


The UN Forum on Forests Secretariat estimates that achieving sustainable forest management on a global scale would cost US$70-$160 billion per year!!!

The Convention on Biological Diversity esti­mates that US$150-$440 billion per year is required to halt the loss of biodi­versity at a global level by the middle of this century.


On the other hand, if we don’t correct or mitigate this problem, here is what would happen. Biodiversity delivers mul­tiple services from local to global levels, while responses to biodiversity loss range from emotional to utilitarian.

For instance, insects and other pol­len-carriers are estimated to be worth more than US$200 billion per year to the global food econ­omy!!!

Three-quarters of the top-ranking global prescription drugs con­tain components derived from plant extracts, which would be threatened!!!

Natural disasters caused by ecosystems disrupted by human impact and climate change already cost the world more than US$300 billion per year!!!

Local farmers transport milk to near by villages via boat from a dairy farm in the area.


Deforestation and for­est degradation results in loss of habitat for all species, a decrease in freshwater quality, an increase in soil erosion, land degradation and higher emissions of car­bon into the atmosphere.In short, not taking action on forests impacts both the health of the planet and our communities.

Here is what we can do…


Inevitably, we change the ecosystems we are a part of through our pres­ence–but we can make choices that either affirm diversity or devalue it.

Some things we can do to help include recycling, eating a locally-based diet that is sustainably sourced, consuming only what we need, and limiting energy usage through efficient heating and cooling systems.


We must also be respect­ful toward wildlife and only take part in ecotour­ism opportunities that are responsibly and ethically run in order to prevent wildlife disturbance.

Well-managed protected areas support healthy ecosystems, which in turn keep people healthy. It is therefore critical to secure the involvement of the local communi­ties in the development and management of these protected areas.

I feel ready. Are you?