What’s at Stake? Biodiverse Forests
Forests across the world are collapsing, with some of the worst destruction happening in Asia’s most precious tropical and once biodiverse forests. The World Resources Institute highlighted that the tropics lost 12 million hectares of tree cover in 2018, the fourth-highest annual loss since record-keeping began in 2001. India alone had lost an area 4X the size of the state of Goa since 2000.
However, research shows that every dollar you spend on restoration means $7 to $30 in benefits to the country, so restoration and rewilding landscapes is a good investment for humanity.
Furthermore a WWF and Cambridge University report in 2015, highlighted that visits to the world’s Protected Areas raised nearly US$660 billion per annum in revenue for Governments, yet only US$10 billion is returned to conservation and protection, or just 0.015% of the money raised, an astonishing poor return given the call by scientists for a multiple increased level of funding to save global forest and wilderness.
Developing sustainable enterprises and livelihoods in threatened forest areas, often where rural poverty and marginal farming is most prevalent, is critically important to saving South Asian forests, with new funding mechanisms and new partnerships with the NGO and private sector urgently required to arrest this loss of habitat and biodiversity.