Top 5 questions about forests

1. What is deforestation?

Deforestation is the "action or process of clearing of forests" (Merriam-Webster). In other words, it is a general term that refers to the destruction of our forests.

2. So how much of a problem is deforestation?

Well, here are some interesting facts and figures:
  • we have already lost nearly 50% of the world's original forests
  • each year, we lose 13 million hectares of forests, the equivalent of 36 football fields per minute
  • deforestation is the source of 15-20% of global carbon emissions
  • the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) estimates that at least 1/3 of the world’s remaining forests may be affected by climate change

3. What are the main causes for the destruction of our forests?

Forests around the globe are being destroyed mainly by: The World Bank estimates that governments lose US$5 billion a year in tax revenue from illegal logging. This is money that could be used for economic and social development, such as building schools and hospitals.

Taking so many trees out of the forest contributes to climate change. That, in turn, causes extreme weather patterns such as drought and frequent fires that destroy forests.

So you see, this is a cycle of destruction that is damaging beautiful places where many endangered species live.

Forests are also home to some of the most culturally rich indigenous communities in the world, whose livelihood depends on the sustainability of the environment around them.

4. That's a lot of problems,  but can we do something to stop the destruction?

Of course!

We still have a lot to save and a lot do, but we must start now.

One of the first things you can do to help protect our forests is to use your power as a consumer. Simple actions such as choosing FSC-certified wood products and saving paper is already a great start.

5. What is WWF doing to address these threats?

Besides relying on the support of people like you, WWF is also working with governements, business and industry in a joint effort to protect our forests.

To date, WWF has helped establish nearly 80 million hectares of forest protected areas.

And through projects such as the Global Forest and Trade Network (GFTN), we are helping to bring together over 300 companies that sell more than US$44.6 billion worth of responsible forestry products per year and employ over 1.3 million people.
  • Think about the rainforest

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