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Nature's Role

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The natural world and its ecosystems is a major, cost-effective ally in the goal of a climate stable world. Creative management of nature - from forests, rivers and wetlands to oceans and drylands – helps boost food security, cleaner air and biodiversity while reducing the vulnerability of people to climate change.

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Photo by: JP Tonn, Flickr

This global celebration of forests provides a platform to raise awareness of the importance of all types of forests and of trees outside forests. Forests cover one third of the Earth's land mass, performing vital functions around the world. Around 1.6 billion people - including more than 2,000 indigenous cultures - depend on forests for their livelihood. Forests are the most biologically-diverse ecosystems on land, home to more than 80% of the terrestrial species of animals, plants and insects. They also provide shelter, jobs and security for forest-dependent communities.

Yet despite all of these priceless ecological, economic, social and health benefits, global deforestation continues at an alarming rate - 13 million hectares of forest are destroyed annually. Deforestation accounts for 12 to 20 percent of the global greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change.

Read more on the UN webiste

Photo Credit: JP Tonn, Flickr

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