UNESCO issued a statement sharing the results of an unpublished study on the role of forest ecosystems spread over 257 sites on the planet.
Researchers from UNESCO, the World Resources Institute and the International Union for Conservation of Nature participated in the research, which made it possible to measure the impact of forests against the existential threat posed by climate change and determine the causes of certain emissions of pollutants into the atmosphere.
According to the study, the 190 million tonnes of carbon dioxide present in the atmosphere absorbed represent around half of the CO2 generated by fossil fuels that the United Kingdom emits annually.
The forests registered by UNESCO cover a total area of 69 million hectares, and constitute ecosystems rich in biodiversity capable of storing large amounts of carbon, which, if released, would adversely impact the climate.
The research, however, left worrying results in 10 of the forests, where human action has led them to emit more carbon than captured in the last two decades.
Among the causes, UNESCO pointed out the fragmentation of land due to forest exploitation and clearing for the benefit of agriculture, and reiterated its call to protect forests and prioritize their sustainable management, in order that they continue to play a key role on the lives of current and future generations of human beings.