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© Roger Legeun / WWF

WWF aims to ensure a world enriched by extensive, resilient forest landscapes benefitting biodiversity, people and climate.

To achieve this goal by 2030, WWF is focusing on achieving three closely linked outcomes:
  1. Protected, well managed forests – with half the world’s forests effectively protected or under improved management practices that halt degradation and enhance resilience;
  2. Zero deforestation;
  3. Restoration of 350 million hectares of forest landscapes.

Forests are essential to life on Earth. They are homes to people and wildlife, providing food and shelter, and are home to a huge proportion of global biodiversity; the planet’s lungs, they also store huge amounts of carbon, and regulate freshwater and other vital services.

© Karine Aigner / WWF-US

In the face of increasing forest destruction in the 1960s, WWF began championing the conservation of the planet’s forests, especially in Africa. For over five decades, WWF has worked with many partners to create, expand and support thousands of protected areas, promote sustainable forest management and, more recently, forest restoration.

In Africa, WWF’s focus has included the unique spiny forests of Madagascar, the coastal forests of east and west Africa, the montane forests of the Africa Rift Valley and the miombo forests of southern Africa. But the forests of the Congo River basin – the world’s second largest tropical forest, a huge carbon store and one of the most biodiverse places on the planet – represent an outstanding priority. Because forests are so important to people, WWF has also engaged with local and indigenous communities on forest conservation, management and restoration – increasingly at a community level – helping secure livelihoods and access to essential services and resources such as freshwater.

While effective forest management including protection of wildlife remains an issue, a major conservation concern across Africa is forest governance. There is a need to balance competing demands for food, timber and infrastructure against the need for intact forests to secure future freshwater supplies and buffer against climate change and impacts – while also securing forest biodiversity and the livelihoods of the millions of people dependent on Africa’s forests.

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© WWF / Simon Rawles