Our Challenge

Whether close by or far away, forests are a critical global resource for everyone.

Forests provide food, medicines, wood, fiber and employment. They moderate freshwater flows, clean the air and influence regional precipitation. They provide a home to 70 million Indigenous People and harbor the most biodiversity on the planet. And when left standing, forests play a critical role in the fight against climate change by removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. 

But forests — and their ability to provide these benefits — are under threat. The expansion of agriculture, mining, timber extraction and other unsustainable practices is destroying and degrading forests around the world.   

Nearly 10% of global tree cover has been lost just since the turn of the century. In 2020 alone, the world lost an area of primary rainforest — the most important areas for biodiversity and carbon storage — equivalent to the size of the Netherlands.

12.2M

hectares of tropical forests were lost in 2019 alone.

1.6B

people rely on forests for livelihoods

1/3

Forests and nature-based solutions can deliver one-third of global emissions reductions needed by 2030

Our Approach

WRI’s Forests Program aims to conserve and restore forests and healthy landscapes to supply humanity with critical goods and services.  

We work with civil society, governments and the private sector to ensure landscapes are governed fairly and managed sustainably. We support radical transparency and accountability for where and how the world’s forests are changing, providing open access to the latest data and cutting-edge technology for monitoring trees. We partner with governments, entrepreneurs, investors and global and local experts to build the social and financial conditions for restoring trees and economic productivity to degraded lands. And we offer research and expertise to help realize policies that better protect and restore ecosystems.

The go-to source for insights on the state of the world’s forests, the Global Forest Review applies the latest geospatial data with expert analyses to track vital forest trends.  

Launch Platform

The Forest Program focuses on a number of specific initiatives, including Global Forest Watch and projects on Forest Legality, and Forest and Landscape Restoration. Explore all projects in depth.

Featured Forest Resources

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Media Contacts

  • Communications Manager, Forests Program

  • Communications Manager, Global Restoration Initiative

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