New Delhi: Urgent action is needed to safeguard the biodiversity of the world's forests amid alarming rates of deforestation and degradation, the latest edition of UN's The State of the World's Forests released on Friday said. Published on the International Day for Biological Diversity, the report shows that the conservation of the world's biodiversity is dependent on the way in which we interact with and use the world's forests. The report was produced by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in partnership, for the first time, with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), and technical inputs from the UN Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC). It highlights that some 420 million hectares of forest have been lost through conversion to other land uses since 1990, although the rate of deforestation has decreased over the past three decades.
The COVID-19 crisis has thrown into sharp focus the importance of conserving and sustainably using nature, recognizing that people's health is linked to ecosystem health. Protecting forests is key to this, as they harbour most of the earth's terrestrial biodiversity. FAO's Global Forest Resources Assessment 2020, noted in the report, found that despite slowing of the rate of deforestation in the last decade, some 10 million hectares are still being lost each year through conversion to agriculture and other land uses. (IANS)Also watch: Minister for Rural Development & Panchayati Raj, Naba Doley briefing