Policy questions that the indicator addresses: Forests are highly diverse ecosystems; covering 30% of the total land area on earth, they provide habitats for around two-thirds of all species. As well as being important for biodiversity, forests also serve a wide range of ecosystem functions essential to human life. The number of people living in or near forests is estimated at around 750 million (see FAO 2014), and forest resources are used for building materials, food and medicines. Forests also protect other landscapes and habitats against nutrient loss, erosion and landslides through the binding action or roots. The loss of forests would have significant impacts on biodiversity and also humankind.
Indicator relationship to main Aichi Biodiversity Target: Target 7: By 2020 areas under agriculture, aquaculture and forestry are managed sustainably, ensuring conservation of biodiversity.
The forest certification indicator measures the area of responsibly managed forests, including natural or semi-natural forests that are used to produce timber and non-timber forest products, and forest plantations. An increase in the area of PEFC and FSC certified forest represents an increase in the area for which evidence of sustainable forest management is available in terms of forest managed responsibly with respect to biodiversity conservation, including the protection of critical ecosystems, in addition to promoting the social and economic, cultural and ethical dimensions of sustainable forest management.