Forest Futures – Population, Consumption, and Wood

Tom Gardner-Outlaw and Robert Engelman

The accelerating loss of the world’s forests presents one of the major environmental challenges of the next century. The growth of human population looms large among the factors contributing to this loss. Yet many analyses of forest decline despair that population growth is an inevitable force that must be reckoned with but cannot be influenced. This publication challenges this view. Its purpose is not only to examine population’s role in forest loss, but also to highlight the value of population policies that simultaneously improve human well-being and brighten the prospects for conserving the world’s remaining forests. The services that forests provide are priceless—literally, impossible to price and beyond any price—to individual and planetary well-being.

Table of Contents

• Why We Need Forests
• Losing Forests
• Understanding Forest Loss
• Implications
• Strategies