The Vitality of Forests: Illustrating the Evidence Connecting Forests and Human Health

GHV worked with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) to research, analyze, and articulate the linkages between environmental degradation and human health impacts.

This report synthesizes a mounting body of evidence documenting the interconnectedness between forests and human health and examines why conserving, protecting, and restoring forests is critical to safeguarding and promoting human health. This is one of the first reports detailing the escalating risks to human health associated with forest loss and degradation, including the emergence of zoonotic infectious diseases. 

The evidence demonstrates that public health and forests are entwined — at the local, regional, and global level — and that across each of nature’s contributions to human health, forest conservation, protection, and restoration can protect and promote human health.

The report documents why the public, policymakers, and the private sector should recognize forests as an indispensable solution to mitigating and adapting to climate change and biodiversity loss. It also suggests pathways for conservation and health actors to join forces to identify and implement solutions that support both human health and forests.