It’s easy to be pessimistic about the state of the world’s forests. Rates of forest loss remain persistently high, especially in the tropics and boreal regions. Drought, fragmentation, degradation via logging, and climate change are conspiring to make forests more vulnerable to fire: vast areas of forest went up in smoke across Canada, Russia, the United States, Indonesia, Brazil, and the Congo Basin in the past two years alone. Expanding human population and rising meat consumption are fueling a global land rush across much of the tropics. And while Brazil’s political crisis is threatening to undermine a decade’s worth of progress in curbing forest destruction, the prospect of Americans electing a president who intends to shred international climate commitments and calls for the embrace of the dirtiest of fossil fuels is downright terrifying for many environmentalists.
Yet all hope is not lost. There are remain good reasons for optimism when it comes to saving the world’s forests. On the occasion of World Environment Day 2016 (June 5), the United Nations’ “day” for raising awareness and encouraging action to protect the planet, here are 10 forest-friendly trends to watch.