Why forests matter

When forests thrive, people prosper

Healthy forests enable humanity to thrive

Forests help us more than we think

Forests regulate our climate, clean the air we breathe, and filter the water we drink. They also provide habitat for more than two-thirds of terrestrial wildlife and plants. They are one of our most important resources, offering a renewable supply of the materials and goods we need for a more sustainable future.

forest with a lake
Igor Shpilenok.
Workers cutting into a log with a chainsaw

Because forests touch so many areas of our lives, caring for them is fundamental for tackling global challenges.

When we nurture forests, we fight climate change, prevent biodiversity loss, and protect workers and indigenous communities around the world.

Unfortunately, many forest areas are under attack from illegal logging and other harmful practices. More than 12 million hectares of forest are lost each year – that’s the size of about 150 tennis courts every minute.  

Learn more about all the ways forests directly impact your daily life and see how forest stewardship cultivates healthier, more resilient forests worldwide. 

Workers cutting into a log with a chainsaw
iStock.com / South_agency
forest at sunrise
FSC / Arturo Escobar
Close shot of tree bark
iStock.com / Gonzalo Matas
Close shot of tree bark

Forests: A natural solution for climate change

Climate change is a defining challenge of our time. One of the most effective ways to combat climate change is with healthy, resilient forests. 

Forests help regulate our climate by absorbing and retaining carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. The healthier the forest, the more carbon it can capture and store. 

But today, the destruction of forests accounts for at least 10 per cent of annual carbon emissions. When forests are responsibly managed so biodiversity is maintained, the plants and trees within them can extract more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and slow climate change. 

See how →
iStock.com / winnond
trees in autumn
FSC / Milan Reška
green tree plants
FSC / Arturo Escobar
Close shot of tree bark

Forests support earth’s biodiversity

Forests are incredibly diverse ecosystems, hosting the majority of terrestrial plant and animal species. They represent a beautifully balanced system where soil, plants, and animals all depend on each other to thrive.  

But why does this matter for us? First, biodiverse ecosystems provide the vital materials we need for food, shelter, clothing, and more. Biodiversity also fosters resilience. Healthy, rich ecosystems make earth habitable for humans. When forests disappear, these life-supporting systems begin to fail, putting humans at significant risk.

According to the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), biodiversity is now declining faster than ever before. FSC’s responsible forestry initiatives protect biodiversity in forests around the world.

See how →
iStock.com / winnond
Deer in the forest
FSC / Marius Čepulis
Close shot of purple flowers
iStock.com / Lucia Kindernayova
Spools of multicolored yarn

Forests are essential for people and communities

Forests support human life all over the world. They provide us with clean air, drinking water, and countless products we rely on every day. And for 300 million people, forests also provide a home. The communities living in and around forests depend on them for food, fuel, medicine, and their livelihoods. In turn, they make stewardship a part of everything they do.   

Indigenous groups and local communities manage one-quarter of the world’s land. Globally, indigenous land experiences up to 26 per cent less deforestation than non-protected areas. And with support from FSC, Indigenous and local communities can achieve even better outcomes.  

See how →
iStock.com / thanasus
Women working on woven fabric
FSC / Bablu Singh
Spools of yarn
FSC / Bablu Singh