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EditPhoto Title:Forests
EditPhoto Description:No matter where you live, forests make your life possible. When a forest is lost anywhere, people feel it everywhere.
EditImage Url:/SiteCollectionImages/ci_56075267.jpg
EditImage Description:Clouds rise through Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, home to the endangered mountain gorilla.
EditPhoto Credit:© Benjamin Drummond
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EditText:Timely environmental news, straight to your inbox
EditThank you Message:Thank you!
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Robert Frost had it right — the woods are lovely, dark and deep.

They’re our respite. Our places of peace. Our natural air filters. Our water factories. Our medicine cabinets. We literally can’t live without them.

So why are they disappearing?

Why are our forests important?

Air We Breathe

As you read this, you’re breathing, and a forest helped make it possible. That’s because forests are “the lungs of the Earth,” absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and releasing oxygen that people need to survive. And forests’ influence goes even further: They play a critical role in managing clouds, wind, humidity, air quality and rainfall patterns.

Climate Stability

Carbon dioxide and other gases in Earth’s atmosphere trap the sun’s heat. Too little CO2, or too much of it, and the planet can’t support life. Forests help make sure the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere is just right. Over hundreds of millions of years, forests have perfected the ability to capture CO2 — including much of the extra carbon generated by human activities.

Jobs And Prosperity

Nearly one in four people depends on forests for their livelihoods in some way. Every year, people trade more than US$ 300 billion worth of forest products like timber and fruits. And many forests contain the key to new medical discoveries, with nature-based products accounting for about 42% of the revenue of the world’s top-selling pharmaceuticals.

Water We Drink

Forests are nature’s water factories. They capture, store, purify and then gradually release clean water to towns and cities located downstream. When forests are lost, these factories stop humming. Erosion and sediment increases, and water flows become more unreliable — leading to greater floods, periods of low water flow and threats to drinking supplies.

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EditSection TitleWhat are the issues?
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EditSection ID (Anchor Tag):issues[Optional]

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EditCircle color:fact--brown    
EditCircle icon:icon-deforestation
EditResult value:50%
EditResult field:world’s forests lost
EditText:Deforestation and degradation
Despite their immense value, nearly half of the world’s forests have been lost. What’s worse, we’re cutting them down at greater rates each year to plant crops, graze cattle and generate income from timber and other forest products.


EditCircle color:fact--color-677782    
EditCircle icon:icon-stump
EditResult value:11%
EditResult field:human-caused emissions from deforestation
EditText:Climate change
When forests are cleared, they emit CO2 back into the atmosphere and put humanity on a dangerous collision course with the worst of climate change. Deforestation accounts for about 11% of global greenhouse gas emissions caused by humans — comparable to the emissions from all of the cars and trucks on Earth combined.


EditCircle color:fact--orange    
EditCircle icon:icon-zero
EditResult value:50%
EditResult field:tropical protected areas may be ‘empty’
EditText:Empty forests
More than half of all tropical protected areas may be “empty forests” — containing trees but few animals as a result of overexploitation and uncontrolled hunting. As a result, animal species are in danger of extinction, tree species lose important seed dispersal, and local people lose an important supply of protein.
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CI’s solutions

For nearly three decades, CI has worked to ensure the world’s most important forests are protected for future generations. That work has helped to place nearly 40 million hectares (nearly 99 million acres) of forests under protection. We also recognize, however, that protected areas aren’t enough. The truth is that, under our current economic framework, forests are worth more cut than standing.

CI has been working to change that by making the sustainable use of forests the foundation of healthy societies around the world. We’re carrying out science that’s helping us better understand forests’ value, and we’re working with local communities to test new ways of conservation that provide more benefits to people. The lessons we’ve learned together with our partners are proving that change is indeed possible.

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EditImage RenditionID Webkit:11[Optional]
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EditImage URL:/SiteCollectionImages/ci_65401724.jpg
EditImage Alt Text:Women in Sumatra. © Conservation International/photo by Ade Budi Kurniawan
EditCaption Title:Uniting businesses, governments and communities
EditCaption Description:The Sustainable Landscapes Partnership works to support low-carbon development, sustainable farming and biodiversity conservation.
EditRead More Text:Read More
EditRead More Link:/slp[Optional]
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EditImage URL:/SiteCollectionImages/ci_16519555.jpg
EditImage Alt Text:The forest in Manú National Park. © Benjamin Drummond
EditCaption Title:REDD+: Saving Forests to Keep Our Climate Safe
EditCaption Description:CI helps build the global system that makes forests more valuable when they’re standing than when they’re cut.​
EditRead More Text:Read More
EditRead More Link:/redd[Optional]
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EditImage Alt Text:Essequibo River, Guyana. © Pete Oxford/iLCP
EditCaption Title:Amapá: A New Development Model for the Amazon
EditCaption Description:Innovative strategies are helping conserve one of the largest tracts of intact tropical forest.
EditRead More Text:Read More
EditRead More Link:/projects/Pages/amapa-new-development-model-for-the-amazon.aspx[Optional]
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EditImage Alt Text:Santa Cruz highland forest. © Will Turner
EditCaption Title:Economic Incentives to Protect Ecuador’s Forests
EditCaption Description:Families and indigenous communities are receiving direct economic incentives to conserve their native forests. The program is alleviating poverty for thousands of Ecuadorians.
EditRead More Text:Read More
EditRead More Link:/projects/pages/Economic-Incentives-to-Protect-Ecuadors-Forests-socio-bosque.aspx[Optional]
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EditImage URL:/SiteCollectionImages/ci_49944993.jpg
EditImage Alt Text:Kayapo man on top of the mountains with forest. © Cristina Mittermeier
EditCaption Title:Global Conservation Fund
EditCaption Description:Through innovative financing solutions, the GCF ensures the permanent protection of natural areas most essential to human well-being. 
EditRead More Text:Read More
EditRead More Link:/projects/Pages/global-conservation-fund.aspx[Optional]
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EditImage URL:/SiteCollectionImages/ci_92773598.jpg
EditImage Alt Text:Woman harvests crops. © Benjamin Drummond
EditCaption Title:Valuing and Accounting for Natural Capital
EditCaption Description:Including the value of natural resources in national accounting systems is a critical step toward improved management of natural resources and development planning.
EditRead More Text:Read More
EditRead More Link:/projects/Pages/Valuing-and-Accounting-for-Natural-Capital.aspx[Optional]
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EditImage URL:/SiteCollectionImages/ci_15980416.jpg
EditImage Alt Text:Sunrise in the Pampas, Bolivia. © Jonathan Hood
EditCaption Title:Creating Healthy Sustainable Societies in Bolivia
EditCaption Description:Bolivia has one of the highest rates of deforestation in the world — now new development of roads and other infrastructure could increase pressure on the country’s vast natural resources.
EditRead More Text:Read More
EditRead More Link:/projects/pages/creating-healthy-sustainable-societies-in-bolivia.aspx[Optional]
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EditCall to Action Title:What can you do?
EditCall to Action Description:People need forests. That’s where you come in. When you protect an acre of forest for $25, you’ll help create a healthier, more prosperous, more productive planet, for you and for everyone.
EditCall to Action Button Description:Protect an acre
EditCall to Action Button Link:/acres
EditAnchor tag for sticky nav:actions[Optional]
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You can also help if you...

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EditBackground Image RenditionID:37
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EditSection Title:Watch
EditSection subtitle:In the cloud forests of Peru, park ranger Roberto Carlos García Vela is showing local farmers the value of leaving trees standing.
EditVideo ID:Jq3cQQfbWc8
EditVideo Thumbnail (must be 16x9 pixel ratio):[Optional]
EditVideo Page URL:/pages/video.aspx
EditVideo image alt text:Video: Roberto Carlos García Vela and The Giving Trees
EditBackground image:/SiteCollectionImages/ci_80156524.jpg
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EditSection Title:‘I make air. Have they thought about that?’
EditSection subtitle:The Rainforest — the lungs of the Earth — makes life on our planet possible. Now, the forest has a voice.
EditButton link:/nature-is-speaking/pages/kevin-spacey-is-the-rainforest.aspx
EditButton text:Listen
EditBackground image:/SiteCollectionImages/ci_69953278.jpg
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Section Information

EditSection Title:Forest protection in action
EditSection Description:CI works with communities around the world to ensure our most important forests are protected for future generations.
EditAnchor Tag:ciTemporaryId[Optional]
EditVideo Page URL:/video[Optional]​
EditRendition ID Medium:33[Optional]
EditRendition ID Large:34[Optional]


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EditYoutube Video ID:eyxQKwZk4Vo/video?vid=eyxQKwZk4Vo
EditVideo Title:ECUADOR: Socio Bosque - The Forest Partners[Optional]
EditCustom Thumbnail (overrides image from YouTube):/SiteCollectionImages/ci_71337943.jpg[Optional]
EditImage Alt Text:Default Alt Text
Edit Autoplay:trueTrue

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    EditYoutube Video ID:xgqsniNBhgs/video?vid=xgqsniNBhgs
    EditVideo Title:CAMBODIA: Central Cardamom Protected Forest[Optional]
    EditCustom Thumbnail (overrides image from YouTube):/SiteCollectionImages/ci_86088458_Large.tif[Optional]
    EditImage Alt Text:© Jeremy Holden
    Edit Autoplay:trueTrue
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