Forests are globally important in regulating climate and locally important in sustaining communities and supporting biodiversity. But they, and the people who depend on them, are under increasing pressure.


Among the world’s greatest assets


for the climate

40 %

of the world’s oxygen is produced by rainforests

for biodiversity

80 %

of terrestrial biodiversity is in forests

for communities


billion people depend on forests

How we engage

IUCN works to build sustainable landscapes, protect primary forests and advance the rights of forest communities. Through its forest initiatives, IUCN helps countries implement effective forest and land-use policies, achieve national priorities and meet international commitments on climate change, biodiversity and land degradation.

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  • In the spotlight:

    Choosing prosperity

    In the next 50 years, Africa will see a profound transformation in demographics and natural systems. The paths chosen by African nations will affect how this transformation occurs. Business as usual could lead to breaching the limits that ensure safe environments and secure livelihoods. The SUSTAIN programme aims to alleviate this transition.

  • In the spotlight:

    Biodiversity in forest landscape restoration

    Biodiversity is inherently connected to forest landscape restoration, but conceptualising this relationship has been elusive – until now. A new publication called, ‘Biodiversity guidelines for forest landscape restoration opportunities assessments’ is intended to provide more context, more resources and fresh perspectives to the ongoing global interaction between biodiversity conservation and forest landscape restoration.

  • In the spotlight:

    Landscapes at your service

    A new publication called, "Landscapes at your service: Applications of the Restoration Opportunities Optimization Tool (ROOT)" takes a closer look at case studies in Brazil, Malawi, Myanmar, Colombia and Costa Rica where ROOT is applied, to connect ecosytem service trade-offs and beneficiaries with decision-making processess and large-scale FLR investments.

  • In the spotlight:

    The world's largest private sector

    Despite more than 1.5 billion smallholders across the world and the large collective scale of their production, policy makers have overlooked smallholders’ role as a powerful economic engine. A new publictation called, The world's largest private sector: Recognising the cumulative economic value of small-scale forest and farm producers brings this to light by presenting evidence suggesting that the value of smallholder production exceeds that of the world’s largest companies.


  • Man with stick in coat on right, field behind him Photo: IUCN / Corbett Nash

    Modern food systems and family farming


    One in five people are family farmers. That’s a lot of people with tremendous collective power to influence productive systems and the environment. As they organise, they bring to life the intentions of the UN Decade on Family Farming (2019-2028), which just...

  • Kalambo Nature Reserve, Tanzania Photo: ©IUCN/Kasukura Nyamaka

    Roadmap to Tanzania’s first miombo nature reserve


    Blog by Kasukura Nyamaka. My work for SUSTAIN is based in the far western region of Tanzania, in the Sumbawanga cluster of the Southern Agricultural Growth Corridor of Tanzania (SAGCOT). It is a resource-rich region inhabited mainly by the Fipa people...

  • group photo - 40 people with banner in back Photo: IUCN / Corbett Nash

    The Restoration Initiative: A chance to learn from one another


    The largest-to-date Global Environment Facility supported programme to restore degraded lands kicked off in Naivasha, Kenya, where over 50 programme partners gathered for a 5-day knowledge sharing and planning workshop. The workshop offered the first real-...

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Learn more

bonn challene logo with flower Photo: IUCN

The Bonn Challenge

The Bonn Challenge is a global effort to bring 150 million hectares of degraded and deforested land into restoration by 2020 and 350 million by 2030.


cartoon- arrow pointing up on right and words an people on right Photo: IUCN / Corbett Nash - icons adapted from UMCES IAN

Restoration Opportunities Assessment Methodology (ROAM)

The Restoration Opportunities Assessment Methodology (ROAM), produced by IUCN and the World Resources Institute (WRI), provides a flexible and affordable framework for countries to rapidly identify and analyse areas that are primed for forest landscape restoration (FLR) and to identify...
looking straight up a big tree from the ground Photo: iStock / IUCN

Raising the profile of primary forests including intact forest landscapes

Although restored or even degraded forests can offer some degree of environmental and ecological functionality, they fall short of delivering the full and robust suite of benefits provided by primary forests including intact forest landscapes – forests free of significant human...
view along a sandy beach with water and mangroves on left Photo: IUCN / James Oliver

Mangrove restoration

Mangroves are critical coastal ecosystems that impact our lives. They nourish biodiversity as nursery grounds for many coastal and marine species and support fisheries. They buffer coastal communities against extreme weather events such as hurricanes, stabilise coastlines and slow or...

Quick reads

Aimed at policy-makers and journalists, IUCN Issues Briefs provide key information on selected issues in a two-pager format.

Issues brief -  Palm oil and biodiversity Photo: IUCN

Palm oil and biodiversity

Palm oil is derived from the oil palm tree (Elaeis guineensis Jacq.), which is native to West Africa and grows best in tropical climates with abundant water. Three-quarters of total palm oil produced...

Thumbnail_CC and Forests issues brief Photo: IUCN

Forests and climate change

Forests are a stabilising force for the climate. They regulate ecosystems, protect biodiversity, play an integral part in the carbon cycle, support livelihoods, and supply goods and services that can...

Deforestation-Forest Degradation Issues Brief_thumbnail Photo: IUCN

Deforestation and forest degradation

Deforestation and forest degradation are the biggest threats to forests worldwide. Deforestation occurs when forests are converted to non-forest uses, such as agriculture and road construction....

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