Forests and trees sustain and protect us, providing clean air and water, safeguarding biodiversity and acting as a buffer against climate change. For many people, they also offer food, shelter and employment.
Here are ten facts about trees you might not be aware of:
- The world’s forests store 289 gigatonnes (Gt) of carbon in their biomass alone.
- Deforestation accounts for up to 20% of greenhouse gas emissions.
- The five most forest-rich countries (the Russian Federation, Brazil, Canada, the United States of America and China) account for more than half of the total world forest area.
- Ten countries or areas have no forest at all and an additional 54 have forest on less than 10 percent of their total land area.
- Legally established protected areas cover an estimated 13% of the world’s forests.
- The oldest trees in the world can live to 4,600 years old.
- Trees in the right place can reduce air-conditioning costs by shading buildings.
- Approximately 14 million people worldwide are formally employed in the forestry sector. Many more depend directly on forests and forest product for their livelihood
- 80% of the world’s forests are publicly owned.
- Wood is not the only resource taken from forests. About 80 percent of people in the developing world use non-wood forest products for health and nutritional needs and for income.
Join FAO in celebrating the International Day of Forests on 21st March and share the video to spread the message and help raise awareness.
Show the world how trees make a difference in your community by planting a tree! Share photos of your tree with us by tagging them on Twitter or Facebook with #unfaozhcidf. Please ensure to only use your own photos. We will select some of the photos and share them via FAO’s social media channels.