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Forests make up 31 per cent of the land area on our planet and are a direct source of food, energy and income for more than a billion of the world’s poorest people; they also store carbon and mitigate climate change, preserve water and soil health, and prevent desertification. However, many forests are not being sustainably managed and the world’s forested area is declining, mainly because of land use changes and agricultural expansion.

The forest sector has great potential for contributing to inclusive green growth, as it is labor intensive, provides significant export opportunities, and, if managed sustainably, can help to mitigate climate change. For example, promoting harvested wood products (HWP) (such as wood for construction or furniture, or biomass for energy) is an important strategy for maximizing the economic, social, and environmental potential of the forest sector (Climate Investments Fund, 2017). The Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) scheme offers financial incentives to developing countries that reduce emissions from deforestation and degradation while investing in low-carbon paths to sustainable development. With the right programmes and policies, forestry can lead the way towards sustainable, greener economies, including higher incomes and jobs.

Relevance to SDGs

Forestry is particularly relevant to Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 15 around issues of biologically diversity, deforestation and the restoration of degraded forests.

Explore green growth resources related to SDG 15: 

SDG 15.2
   SDG 15.b
Management and Financing

Green Growth National Documents

Case Studies

Wealth Accounting and the Valuation of Ecosystem Services (WAVES), The Nature Conservancy, IH Cantabria

Learning Products

Centro Euro-Mediterraneo sui Cambiamenti Climatici (CMCC), European Forest Institute (EFI)
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)