A report by Natural Resources Defense Council, Nature Canada, Environmental Defence Canada and Nature Québec
Protecting the world’s forests, just like a rapid transition away from fossil fuels, is essential to avoiding the worst impacts of climate change. Forests, in addition to their importance in maintaining biodiversity, play an irreplaceable role in global carbon regulation, absorbing one-third of human-caused carbon emissions from the atmosphere annually and storing this carbon long-term in their soil and vegetation. This is why forest protection and restoration are key pillars of international efforts to advance natural climate solutions (i.e., actions that preserve and enhance ecosystems’ role in absorbing and storing carbon). Preserving primary forests, which are forests that have never been impacted by significant human disturbance, is particularly critical. These forests, which are rapidly disappearing, hold unique value for the climate and biodiversity. Once gone, they are irreplaceable on any meaningful human timescale.