June 6, 2011
Did you know more than one billion people around the world depend on forests for their livelihood? Trees are also an essential part of supplying water to nearly half of the world’s largest cities. That’s why there is major concern over the alarming rate of tree loss, with more than 12 million acres being cut down each year.
Trees are essential to the economies of countries big and small. Recent work by the Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity estimates as much as 4.5 trillion U.S. dollars are lost every year because of damage and destruction of natural assets, most of which are linked to forests. A recent United Nations Environment Program’s Green Economy Report identifies forests as one of the key sectors which can help a low-carbon and resource efficient green economy.
And in a new report just released, the United Nations says investing just a small amount each year in the forestry sector could halve deforestation, create millions of jobs and help fight climate change. The Forests in a Green Economy Report finds spending $40 billion dollars globally in the forestry sector would increase the number of trees planted by 140 percent by 2050 and create as many as 30 million new jobs by that same year.