Healthy forests provide ecological contributions such as climate mitigation, watershed services, soil stabilisation, and biodiversity conservation. These ecosystem services benefit families, communities, and national economies, thus promoting long-term livelihoods and human health and well-being.

Climate change

Climate change is one of the pre-eminent challenges of our time. Our work involves assessment of the impact of climate change on forest and tree resources as well as on the people who depend on forest or tree products for their livelihood, shelter, food and medicine. We examine the effects of climate change on forest governance and trade, and we promote capacity building of individuals, communities, and institutions in addressing forestry issues related to climate change. We evaluate activities and options that contribute to climate change mitigation and adaptation, and we ensure that climate change related activities in the forest sector are underpinned by sound science.

Forest-water relations

Forests play crucial roles in assuring quality water. Many rivers in Africa originate from forest areas, and many major river basins crucial to agricultural production reside in dry forest ecozones. Our work promotes a greater understanding of forest-water relations, including assessments of the adverse impacts of deforestation and degradation, in order to develop measures that facilitate sufficient supplies of good quality water.

Payment for environmental services

Forests provide a wide range of environmental services, including the capture, storage and purification of water, the prevention of soil erosion, air purification and biodiversity conservation. Our work supports increased global recognition and valuation of forest and tree based ecosystem services.