Main threats to forests

Forests sustain life, and survival of all species is directly related to healthy forests. But, forests are threatened and climate change is exacerbating some of the effects. Most common threats to forests include: deforestation, forest degradation, and illegal activities in forestry.

Forest fire

Three main threats to forests


Deforestation is the conversion of forest land to other land uses. The main cause of deforestation is agriculture. It is a particular concern in tropical rain forests because these forests are home to much of the world’s biodiversity.

Illegal harvesting

Illegal forest activities are all illegal acts that relate to forest ecosystems, forest-related industries, and timber and non-timber forest products. They reduce the income of local communities, create a cycle of bad governance, contribute to extensive deforestation and the destruction of biodiversity, increase the risk of forest fires, and distort forest product markets.