Forests are unsung climate action heroes – up to 13 billion tonnes of carbon is stored in their trees and soil.

Forests are some of the most biodiversity-rich habitats on Earth and are considered as one of the most cost-effective forms of climate action. They play a crucial role in climate regulation by absorbing carbon dioxide (CO2). Trees take in CO2, release oxygen by way of photosynthesis, and store carbon in their trunks.

They are also vitally important for human well-being and survival. It is estimated that around 1.6 billion people – including more than 2,000 indigenous cultures – depend on forests for their livelihoods, medicine, fuel, food and shelter.

As of today, more than 200 World Heritage sites harbour unique forest ecosystems. Ranging in size from 18 hectares (Vallée de Mai, Seychelles), to more than 5 million hectares (Central Amazon Conservation Complex, Brazil), World Heritage forest sites now have a total surface area of over 69 million hectares – roughly twice the size of Germany.

Protecting forests, including those recognised as World Heritage Sites, benefits the planet and all its people.

Source: UNESCO