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.   

Data reveals 11% of global tree cover has been lost just since the turn of the century.  In 2021, the world lost 3.75 million hectares of tropical primary rainforests — areas of critical importance for carbon storage and biodiversity — equivalent to a rate of 10 football pitches a minute.


hectares of tropical forests were lost in 2021 alone.


people rely on forests for livelihoods


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 for benefits as diverse as cultural identity, biodiversity, carbon capture, water security and wood supply.

We work with civil society, governments and the private sector to ensure forested landscapes are governed fairly and managed sustainably. We support radical transparency and open access to the latest data and cutting-edge monitoring technology, so that all actors can be held accountable for actions that impact forests. We partner with governments, entrepreneurs, investors and forests experts to build the social and financial conditions for conserving forests and restoring degraded ecosystems. And we produce groundbreaking research to shed light on important forest issues and aid in better decision-making.

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.

Sign up for WRI's Forest Program News and Updates


Media Contacts

  • Marcia MacNeil

    Senior Communications Manager, Land and Forests

  • Jerin Tan

    Digital Communications Manager, Global Restoration Initiative

  • Luke Foddy

    Communications Associate, Nature Crime Alliance