Untapped potential: forest ecosystem services for achieving SDG 15
The world’s forest ecosystems provide critical and diverse services and values to human society. As primary habitat for a wide range of species, forests support biodiversity maintenance and conservation. Yet, continuing forest loss worldwide negatively impacts the livelihoods of millions of people and poses major challenges to sustainable development, in part because these forest ecosystem services continue to be undervalued, or not valued at all. Fortunately, the global community appears to be arriving at an important turning point, with a number of recent developments pointing to a positive trajectory of progress—including various commitments and agreements made in recent years such as the New York Declaration on Forests (NYDF), the Paris Agreement, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and the UN Strategic Plan for Forests 2017-2030 (UNSPF) and its Global Forest Goals (GFGs).