The direct and underlying causes of forest loss
Forests are one of the most valuable eco-systems in the world, containing over 60 per cent of the world’s biodiversity. This biodiversity has multiple social and economic values, apart from its intrinsic value, varying from the important ecological functions of forests in terms of soil and watershed protection to the economic value of the numerous products which can be extracted from the forest. For many indigenous and other forest-dependent peoples, forests are their livelihood. They provide them with edible and medicinal plants, bushmeat, fruits, honey, shelter, firewood and many other goods, as well as with cultural and spiritual values. On a global scale, all forests play a crucial role in climate regulation and constitute one of the major carbon sinks on earth, their survival thus preventing an increase in the greenhouse effect.