Forests are essential for a green recovery from COVID-19

Hello Whole World Botanicals customers:

Indigenous people around the world have been hit particularly hard by the COVID -19 virus. They are returning to their traditional plant medicines for treatment of the virus.

Read more in the article below from the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs’ UN DESA Voice webpage.

The COVID-19 pandemic has taken an unprecedented toll on lives and economies around the world. As countries continue to work to turn the tide of the pandemic, plans and measures are being put in place to set us on the path to a green recovery. Forests have a key role to play in these efforts.

“Forests offer nature-friendly solutions for a green recovery from the pandemic,” said Alexander Trepelkov, Officer-in-Charge of the United Nations Forum on Forests Secretariat in UN DESA. “Investing in forests is a critical component in building sustainable, resilient and fair societies, capable of withstanding future pandemics and global challenges like climate change and biodiversity loss,” he added.

Forests provide a wide spectrum of benefits and services, supporting the health and livelihoods of millions of people. For the rural poor, forests are a critical source of food, fuel, income and well-being. “Historically, forests have provided a safety net in times of crisis, and we are seeing this to be the case during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Mr. Trepelkov. “Forests are a lifeline for some of our most vulnerable populations, including those living in rural areas, indigenous peoples and other forest-dependent communities,” he added.

It is in our best interests to safeguard forests. If current rates of deforestation and forest degradation continue unabated, it could lead to more zoonotic diseases, like COVID-19, in the future. Healthy, well-managed forests, on the other hand, are the foundation for long-term sustainability in addressing water scarcity, mitigating climate change and ensuring energy and food security.

The UN Forum on Forests Secretariat in UN DESA is working to support our path to recovery by providing analytical products to inform decision-making. In 2020, the Secretariat produced two policy briefs highlighting how forests can contribute to sustainable recovery from the pandemic. Currently, the Secretariat is undertaking an initial assessment of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on sustainable forest management, including the impacts on the forest sector, and forest-dependent people, indigenous peoples and local communities. As part of this assessment, an expert group meeting will be held on 19-21 January 2021.

Photo: Mariana Latii (UN DESA’s International Forest Photo Contest)