Healing Forests

Healthy forests for healthy people.
Lake in front of a forest

Forests as neighbours

With over half of the world’s population living in urban areas, forests are the best neighbours to have. They reduce noise, provide space for exercise and relaxation, and even purify the water and air.

Urban forests also help us to keep cool during heat waves. A study by ISGlobal shows that increasing tree cover in cities to 30% can lower the temperature of urban areas by up to 1.3 C, which could prevent one-third of premature deaths attributed to urban heat islands in the summer.

Against the backdrop of climate change and urban growth, it is crucial to advocate for greener and healthier cities. Taking care of urban forests is part of the effort. Some European cities, such as Paris, Lisbon, Amsterdam, and Riga, are leading the way by achieving FSC certification for their urban forests.

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SIA Rīgas meži/ Edmunds Račinskis
Sandy path winding through a pine forest
SIA Rīgas meži/ Edmunds Račinskis
Close-up of oak bark
FSC / Marius Čepulis
Lake in front of a forest

Forests as guardians

Healthy and resilient forests can protect us from future pandemics. In the last 50 years, 75 per cent of all infectious diseases came from wildlife. They were often linked to deforestation. 

To help prevent future outbreaks, we must take care of our forests. Working together is key: research shows that collaboration between conservationists, Indigenous Peoples, and governments is important to protect these vibrant ecosystems. 

At FSC, we bring environmental, economic, and social interests together for forests. Join our mission and become a forest steward today.

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FSC / Iván Castro
New Zealand 2 copyright Don Carson
(c) Don Carson
Drone shot of Mayan ruins in a forest
FSC / Iván Castro
Close-up on quinine bark

Forests at home

Our homes are filled with the healing from forests: from medicines to oils and nutritious food.

iStock.com / Likit Supasai
Close-up of blueberries
FSC Sweden
Close shot of honeycomb
iStock.com / Iana Miroshnichenko
Glossy-leaved tree with pink blossoms
iStock.com / Poetra RH

Forest medicines

Globally, 25 per cent of drugs used in modern medicine are derived from rainforest plants, many of which might still be unknown if not for the traditional knowledge of Indigenous Peoples.

Forest certification can help preserve the Indigenous knowledge of medicinal plants and, in turn, increase our chances of novel drug discovery. 

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Close-up of soapnuts
FSC Vietnam / Phan Tan Lam

Trees that help us keep our household chemical-free

Tung tree 
Native to southern China, Myanmar, and northern Vietnam, tung trees have much to offer. Tung oil is a drying oil used for furniture and floor finishing, in oil paint, varnishes, and more. Fun fact: tung oil waterproofs oil-paper umbrellas. 

Black locust 
Both a shampoo and a textile dye, black locust is good for us and forests. In Vietnam, its saponin-rich seeds are traditionally used as a natural shampoo and hair treatment, as well as a dye for wool, felt, and silk. Black locust grows quickly and is often used for enrichment planting. 
Indian Soapberry 
Found in China, Taiwan, and India, this tree is widely known for its cleansing properties. Both a detergent and a shampoo, its fruit is used as a natural cleanser for hair, skin, and clothing. 

Basket full of mushrooms
FSC Sweden

Forest food for all

The current global food system not only fails to provide sufficient and nutritious food to all but also depletes the Earth's resources.

To address this issue, we must recognize that forests are a part of the solution.

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Forest wellness

Forests are a great wellness destination: inviting, relaxing, and gorgeous. Discover some of their perks.

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Little bird on a branch
FSC / Jjumba Martin
River in a forest at dusk