WWF statement on the State of the World’s Trees report

Posted on 01 September 2021

The research is a timely reminder of the peril facing the world's trees and forests.
1 Sept. 2021 - The State of the Word's Trees report, published today by the Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BCGI), provides an eye-opening and comprehensive look into the state of trees across the globe, which tree species are most at risk and why. The findings complement our analysis of deforestation fronts, which show that an area the size of Morocco was lost to deforestation in just over a decade in the tropics and subtropics alone. Just seven key commodities are driving the majority of forest loss globally. 

"This research is a timely reminder of the peril facing the world's trees and forests which, despite all the warning signs, we’re losing at an alarming rate," says Fran Price, Lead, WWF Global Forest Practice. "Trees are one of the greatest nature-based solutions we have. To avoid the worst effects of climate change and maintain vitally important services nature provides, we have to protect, sustainably manage and restore trees and forests, and halt deforestation."  

Trees are essential to our economic and social well-being. They help sequester carbon, help regulate water supply, provide a habitat for wildlife and bring numerous other health benefits to our lives. But the way we use nature, combined with the impact of climate change, is having a detrimental effect on trees and forests.

"The solutions to reverse this are in our hands," Price says. "There are examples that show the potential of what we can achieve if we act now for nature. We’ve seen increases in the numbers of tigers and pandas, for example. We can prevent dangerous climate change and reverse the loss of nature by embracing bolder, more ambitious conservation efforts – protect the world’s most important trees and forests, ensure that logging and agriculture is sustainable, stop deforestation, encourage natural regeneration and restore the right trees in the right places. The biggest driver of forest loss is the way we produce food and other commodities, including timber. We need to see transformational changes in the way food is produced and consumed, such as making food production and trade more efficient, reducing waste, and favouring healthier and more sustainable diets. Most importantly, these solutions need to take into account local contexts, and include the voices of all stakeholders to ensure our efforts are beneficial for both nature and people."
Safiental, Grisons, Switzerland. FSC certified forest
© WWF-Switzerland / A. della Bella / WWF