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Has COVID-19 affected forest management? UN says quite a lot

Around 1.6 billion people rely on forests for their subsistence needs and livelihoods; COVID-19 is driving vulnerable communities into forests, putting extra pressure on these ecosystems

The novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has aggravated the challenges faced by countries in managing their forests, The Global Forests Goals Report, 2021 by the United Nations (UN) has flagged.

The report was released by the UN’s Department of Economic and Social Affairs on April 26, 2021.

An estimated 1.6 billion people rely on forests for their subsistence needs and livelihoods; COVID-19 is driving vulnerable communities into forests to meet their food and income, putting extra pressure on global forests.

The plan recognises that in order to create a world in which forests could provide economic, social, environmental and cultural benefits for present and future generations, they will be needed by humanity in the first place.

At the same time, climate change has jeopardised the resilience of forest ecosystems and their ability to support ecosystem services worldwide. The report provides an initial overview of the progress of goals and targets contained within the United Nations Strategic Plan for Forests 2030.

The United Nations Strategic Plan for Forests 2017-2030 was created with a mission to promote sustainable forest management. The first Global Forest Goal in the plan provides for increasing forest area by 3 per cent by 2030.

The report document drew upon 52 voluntary national reports and 19 voluntary national contributions, representing 75 per cent of forests in the world.

It also called for a future course of action, including a more inclusive economy to tackle the threats of COVID-19, climate change and the biodiversity crisis faced by forests.

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