Forests

Our work

forest with mountain and fog Photo: iStock / IUCN

IUCN's role in forests

We work with our State and civil society members and partners to build thriving and productive landscapes, to advance the rights and interests of forest communities, to engage investors, and to implement effective forest and land-use policies.

We carry out projects across the globe, achieving multiple objectives:

  • Equipping decision-makers with information and analysis;
  • Designing and advancing policies and initiatives at local, national and global levels;
  • Inspiring political commitments to initiatives like the Bonn Challenge;
  • Developing tools and methodologies, such as the Restoration Opportunities  Assessment Methodology (ROAM);
  • Strengthening the capacity of our partners through learning exchanges and training courses;
  • Embedding community and individual needs and rights into resource management decision making;
  • Unlocking financing for sustainable forest landscapes;
  • Helping meet national sustainable development plans and international goals on climate change, biodiversity, and land degradation; and
  • Creating spaces for cross-sector dialogues to link the public and private sectors and civil society.

​Major programmatic areas: 

► Forest landscape restoration (FLR)

► Slowing the global deforestation rate 

► Locally controlled forests (LCF) 

► Primary forests

Why engage the IUCN Forest Programme?

  • As an intergovernmental organisation, with State and non-State Members, we are uniquely able to offer forest and land-use solutions from the concept stage through to knowledge and data generation, and from policy and decision making at all levels to results on the ground.
  • With an established presence for 70 years in all regions of the world, including over 50 countries with forest programme activities, we support long-term transformative change.
  • We are an Implementing Agency for the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and an Accredited Entity under the Global Climate Fund (GCF).
  • As the world’s largest and most diverse environmental network, we forge and support effective partnerships, including leading the Secretariat for the Global Partnership on Forest Landscape Restoration and Secretariat for the Bonn Challenge.
  • We produce and serve as a trusted repository of best practices, tools and international standards.

Forests provide for the world  

  • Over 40% of the world’s oxygen is produced by rainforests. 
  • Forests are home to 80% of the world’s terrestrial biodiversity
  • The livelihoods of 1.6 billion people depend on forests
  • More than a quarter of modern medicines, worth an estimated US$ 108 billion a year, originate from tropical forest plants.  
  • The carbon in forests exceeds the amount of carbon currently in the atmosphere.

Forest landscape restoration workshop in Rwanda

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