The latest IPCC report confirms a lot we already knew about the relationship between tropical forests and climate change, as well as reveals some relatively new science about how forests interact with the atmosphere. The bottom line? Protecting forests—especially tropical forests—is one of the most important strategies for both climate mitigation and adaptation.
A new IPCC report found there could be significant benefits to land-based carbon removal, such as through afforestation and restoration. But if deployed incorrectly, these strategies could create greater pressures on land and compromise food security and ecosystem health.
Indigenous peoples and other local communities have long argued that they play a central role in safeguarding more than half the world’s land, including much of its forests. The world’s leading climate scientists now agree.
The latest IPCC report finds that while land sequesters almost a third of human-caused carbon dioxide emissions, it will be impossible to limit temperature rise to safe levels without fundamentally changing the way the world produces food and manages land.
Forests are essential for lives and livelihoods. As these benefits become better understood and valued, investors in sustainable forestry are seeing financial returns that outperform investments in conventional timber.
Deforestation rates in the Congo Basin — historically lower than in the Amazon and southeast Asia — are on the rise. It's not just a problem for the 80 million people who rely on the forests for food and livelihoods; research shows the world's second-largest rainforest regulates weather patterns across Africa.