The future of all life on Earth, including our own, is inextricably linked with the fate of the world’s trees. They supply the air that we breathe, help to keep our climate stable and form the backbone of the world’s forests, providing habitat, food and shelter for millions of other species.
Safeguarding the world’s forests has long been one of Fauna & Flora International’s (FFI) key priorities, and we have a proven track record in protecting these ecologically, culturally and economically vital habitats.
While the importance of forest ecosystems as a whole is well known, the fundamental and often irreplaceable role played by individual types of tree is all too often forgotten. From apple trees and baobabs to yew trees and zebrawoods, different tree species provide humanity with a range of food, medicines and timbers.
Yet despite the fact that one in six of all tree species is in danger of extinction, conservation effort to date has largely failed to consider trees to be in need of active conservation management in their own right.
Today, over 10,000 tree species are threatened with extinction. Of even greater concern, more than 1,900 species are listed as critically endangered – likely to go extinct unless urgent, targeted action is taken now to save them.
FFI’s vast experience of forest conservation means that we are ideally equipped to drill down and address the survival needs of individual tree species within those wider landscapes.
Restoring rare and threatened trees to Brazil’s Araucaria forest
Community management of rare baobabs in Madagascar
Building capacity of nature reserves to save China’s most threatened trees
Pitons Christmas tree project
Protecting rosewood from illegal logging in Belize
Catalysing action for Indonesia’s threatened trees
Protecting rare conifers and magnolias in northern Vietnam
Conserving threatened trees and fruit-and-nut forests in Tajikistan
Conserving fruit-and-nut forests in Kyrgyzstan
Protecting the unique and threatened seas and forests of São Tomé and Príncipe
Conserving threatened trees in Armenia
FFI adopts a unique approach to tree conservation. We work across the world to protect areas of forest rich in tree diversity and carry out urgent and targeted action to ensure that the most at-risk tree species survive within these habitats. This may include protecting valuable timber species from selective logging, helping local communities to ensure harvest of tree products is sustainable and replanting some of the world’s rarest species to boost numbers in the wild.
FFI was a co-founder of the Global Trees Campaign, which it now manages in partnership with Botanic Gardens Conservation International. This is the only international conservation programme dedicated to saving the world’s threatened tree species from extinction in the wild.
Together with our large network of partners around the world, we have supported the conservation of more than 200 tree species in 38 countries, with FFI directly working in 24 of these.
The Global Trees Campaign also acts as an advocate and voice for threatened trees, both catalysing others to take action and directly supporting conservation work on the ground.
We work in four ways:
We identify which trees are most at threat so that we can direct conservation efforts to the species most in need. This is mainly done through red listing trees under the recognised IUCN system, but we also take into account how people use and value trees to ensure conservation action also reflects local priorities.
We take action on the ground for some of world’s most threatened tree species, all of which reflect the wide array of cultural, economic and ecological values of trees.
Examples of this work include:
For a full list of projects please visit the Global Trees Campaign website.
We work to ensure that the future of the world’s threatened trees is in safe hands, supporting local conservationists to develop the skills and knowledge they need to deliver effective action on the ground. We provide local conservationists with best practice guidance and help them to get training and technical support from tree conservation experts. For example, we have provided a long-term programme of training and technical support to nature reserve managers and rangers in southern China, helping them to better conserve a range of magnolia, fir and rhododendron species.
With more than 10,000 tree species at risk of extinction, we recognise that we cannot do this alone. We therefore work to inspire and motivate other individuals and organisations to act for tree species. For example, in Brazil’s Araucaria forest we are successfully influencing people working in tree nurseries and tree planting projects so that they use a much higher diversity of tree species. This is helping to ensure that trees at risk of extinction are routinely included in planting initiatives, saving the tree species themselves and establishing much richer forests (which are good for other wildlife). The Global Trees Campaign is also supporting emerging tree conservationists to become ambassadors for tree conservation in high priority regions, so that they can catalyse more concerted action on behalf of threatened trees in their own countries.
For more information about our work through the Global Trees Campaign please visit: www.globaltrees.org.
Forests contain the overwhelming majority of life on Earth, including a staggering 80% of the planet’s terrestrial species.
FFI has played a pivotal role in safeguarding the future of an incredible variety of species all across the world. Learn more about our approach and why we have been so successful.