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Forests: What do we know about them?

Forests cover almost a third of Earth’s land surface, for a total of 4 billion hectares.

Trees are the foundation of forest ecosystems, and many of the world’s 60,000 tree species are also important components of forests and agricultural landscapes. Forests are home to most of the Earth’s (non-marine) biodiversity and provide habitats for about 80 percent of amphibian species, 75 percent of bird species and 68 percent of mammal species.

Forests occur in the four major climatic domains (boreal, temperate, subtropical and tropical) and each forest has its own characteristics that differentiate it from the others. 

For example, in Finland and Sweden, forests cover 75% and 69% of the two countries, respectively. Forests are located in the boreal zone – where winters are long and summers short – and thanks to the abundance of water, they grow without needing irrigation.

Source: Global forest allocation by climate domain, FAO.

Forests play an important role in the global carbon cycle, acting both as a sink (through carbon capture through photosynthesis and storage in biomass and soil) and as a source of greenhouse gas emissions (through deforestation and degradation).

About a third of global forest loss is linked to forest fires, 90% of which are man-made, and which cause a significant release  of carbon dioxide by forests.

As for other deforestation factors, it is important to point out that there are significant regional differences in the patterns of forest-area change: the highest net losses in 2010–2020 were in South America and Africa, while Europe and parts of Asia experienced net gains.

Source: Annual change of forest area, FAO, Metsä Board

Globally, the share of certified forests is around 10%, i.e. forests whose management complies with international management standards based on sustainability.

In Finland, on average, four new seedlings are planted after regeneration felling.

Forests, and trees that compose them, are a priceless heritage, which must be preserved and protected.

ProntoPack is active on several fronts in the fight against deforestation, choosing reliable and prepared partners, and contributing to the creation of a forest in Kenya.

Source: FAO, Metsä Board, Forest Europe

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