Forests in landscapes

In many places, natural forests exist as pieces of a larger puzzle that consists of plantations, farmland, and increasingly, human settlements. We ensure that a balance is struck between economic needs and the imperative of keeping high conservation value areas.

A large herd of elephants takes refuge in a tea estate in Assam, a favorite shelter for elephants lacking forest cover.
© WWF AREAS / Rommell Shunmugam

So what does a landscape approach to forest conservation entail? 

For WWF, the landscape approach is all about ensuring that land is optimally used for various purposes—from protected areas to agriculture, including restoration.

We have developed a range of tools that allow planners and business to determine where forests of high conservation value are located, and hence avoid degrading or destroying them altogether.

Protected areas—whether they be national parks or reserves—are very often the best way to protect forest high conservation value areas. Based on decades of experience, WWF works with authorities, businesses and communities to establish protected areas that help with species conservation without jeopardizing livelihoods.

In places where human activities have laid forests bare, forest landscape restoration helps to:
  • restore environmental functions
  • restore benefits for people
  • reduce the vulnerability of forests and biodiversity
  • address the root causes of forest loss and degradation
Example of WWF's work on the ground to establish sustainable forest landscapes

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