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Forests Stories

degraded land WW286701 Tim Cornin

What is forest degradation and why is it bad for people and wildlife?

When a forest is degraded it still exists, but it can no longer function well. It becomes a shell of its former self; its health declines until it can no longer support people and wildlife by, for example, filtering the air we breathe and water we drink or providing animals with food and places to live.

  • Protecting the Peruvian Amazon

    May 24, 2019

    One of the best ways to stop deforestation is to ensure there’s long-term funding to properly manage the country’s national parks.  

    peruvian amazon sunset WW1103396 Day's Edge Productions
  • Forest fires: the good and the bad

    For most people, forest fire is synonymous with disaster. But there are some kinds of forest fires that actually benefit the environment.

    forest fire Madagascar WW199886 Martina Lippuner
  • WWF and Apple help improve management of more than 1 million acres of China’s forests

    More than 1 million acres of forest land in China are now managed responsibly or under improved forest management, thanks to a joint initiative by WWF and Apple.

    forest in china
  • Smart fire management protects a park in Brazil

    WWF Magazine: Summer 2019
    The flames start out small and barely audible. But within 15 minutes they're two stories high—a roaring wall. It's Jose Luis Neris da Silva's job to make sure they don't burn out of control.
    Man in front of burning ground
  • Rooted in the Amazon

    WWF Magazine: Summer 2019
    In the Amazon and beyond, WWF’s Earth for Life vision calls for saving massive pieces of the planet we call home.
    Giant Otter peeks head out of the water while swimming in a small lake near the Rio do Coco in Parque Estadual do Cantão, Tocantins, Brazil.
  • These handmade cookstoves save fuel—and help save gorillas

    WWF Magazine: Summer 2019
    In 2008, WWF began working with groups in the Goma area to make and sell fuel-efficient cookstoves. Goma Stove, started with a loan from WWF, is now financially independent—and business is booming.
    veline Kahindo with clay stove base
  • WWF's Linda Walker on how forests have shaped her life

    WWF Magazine: Spring 2019
    Forests have shaped and inspired every chapter of my life.
    Linda Walker
  • Legendary undercover investigators protect forests

    August 09, 2018

    The men in question can’t be named or pictured, because they’re undercover investigators for a deforestation watchdog group called Eyes on the Forest (EoF). And they’re routinely putting their safety on the line to protect Thirty Hills, one of the last great swaths of rainforest on the Indonesian island of Sumatra.

    EoF1 Neil Ever Osborne WW257110
  • Drones provide an up close look at the health of forests

    June 19, 2018

    WWF is on a mission to save the world’s forest land. Saving forests means using every tool at our disposal and working with partners around the globe. And that’s where drones come in to play.

    drone heads into forest
  • Want to help save the world's forests? Look for the FSC label when you shop

    April 22, 2018

    It’s one of the easiest things you can do to help save the world’s forests. Look for the label that says FSC® when you buy paper towels, tissues, furniture or any other products that come from forests.

    A view of the rattan forest canopy.
  • A small-scale farmer leads the way for big changes to rubber farming in Myanmar

    March 27, 2018

    Hey Mer is not just producing good quality rubber, she is doing so in accordance with farming practices that don’t degrade the forests or mistreat workers. Such steps are necessary to protect the environment and human rights, but also to ensure good rubber prices for farmers and a long-lasting rubber industry.

    Hey Mer in Myanmar
  • An illegal logger in Tanzania becomes a forest defender

    March 21, 2018

    When his three daughters were hungry, Omary Mbunda would turn to illegal timber for money. That changed when the CARE-WWF Alliance—a partnership focused on creating food systems that better nourish vulnerable communities while supporting healthy ecosystems—began promoting sustainable forestry management and conservation agriculture in Mbondo in 2015.

    Portrait of Mbunda
  • As monarch butterflies lose ground in Mexico, WWF seeks solutions in America’s heartland

    When we think of wild animals losing their habitats, we usually envision elephants, rhinos, and tigers in faraway places. But monarch butterflies are losing their homes right here in the US—and our food is playing a part.

    Monarch among goldenrod
  • Saving a forest stronghold

    WWF Magazine: Spring 2018
    Deep within Africa’s second-largest country, Salonga is a core part of one of Earth’s greatest and last tropical forests, still virtually untouched by modern-day resource extraction and development.
    rangers paddle down a river in Salonga National Park
  • Charting a future for bonobos

    WWF Magazine: Spring 2018
    The future of bonobos in the Democratic Republic of the Congo is beginning to look promising. WWF is increasing surveillance of them and creating a management plan that benefits people and wildlife.
    Congo Bonobos Magazine Spring 2018
  • Women rising

    WWF Magazine: Spring 2018
    WWF is working to empower women by teaching them sustainable farming techniques, building their leadership and entrepreneurial skills, and ensuring their representation in decision-making bodies.
    IMGL8483-web-flipped
  • Protecting progress in the Brazilian Amazon

    December 13, 2017

    This will be one of the great litmus tests of the conservation movement: can we marshal the resources necessary to secure the gains we’ve made in the Amazon and chart a new path forward?

    Aerial view of Amazon
  • Celebrating the biggest conservation wins of 2017

    December 13, 2017

    As 2017 comes to a close, we’re taking a moment to highlight some of our biggest conservation successes of the year. And we couldn’t have done it without your support.

    Myanmar Elephant Restricted Campaign
  • Creating a future for healthy forests in Bhutan

    November 11, 2017

    Bhutan now has a great means for bringing that commitment to life—long-term funding to ensure its protected areas, which cover half of the country, are properly managed forever. It is the first initiative of its kind in Asia and one of only a few in the world.

    Bhutanese mountains in sunset
  • A look at the natural world of Colombia

    WWF Magazine: Winter 2017
    Heritage Colombia is a conservation financing project designed to secure protections for Colombia’s natural landscapes.
    colombia map labels new winter2017
  • Heritage Colombia

    WWF Magazine: Winter 2017
    With the peace agreement comes the opportunity to restore the health of the country’s protected areas and prevent damage or loss to the many wild wonders that still exist.
    colomia birds winter2017
  • Fire-tailed titi monkey and pink river dolphin among 381 new species discovered in the Amazon

    The report, New Species of Vertebrates and Plants in the Amazon 2014-2015, details 381 new species that were discovered over 24 months, including 216 plants, 93 fish, 32 amphibians, 20 mammals, 19 reptiles and one bird.

    Pink river dolphin and calf.
  • WWF helps a mountain community protect forests and adapt to climate change

    July 31, 2017

    WWF recently concluded a project that worked closely with local communities to reduce land degradation, forest loss, and climate change vulnerability in the Himalayas in Nepal. Empowered by the Global Environment Facility, WWF worked directly with the government of Nepal to design and implement the project.

    A forest in Nepal.
  • Supporting communities and forests in Laos

    June 20, 2017

    The village of Sobphouan, with help from WWF, is a leading example of successful efforts in Laos to replace traditional agriculture and farming—drivers of widespread deforestation—with sustainable rattan production. 

    Aerial view of Rattan plantations