Impact of addressing Sustainable Development Goal 3 Health and Wellbeing on Forests and Forest People

Activity: Talk or presentationInvited talk


Impact of addressing Sustainable Development Goal 3 Health and Wellbeing on Forests and Forest People

Rosemary McFarlane1, John Barry2, Guéladio Cissé3, Maya Gislason4, Marta Gruca5, Kerryn Higgs6, Pierre Horwitz7, Giang Huu Nguyen7, Jane O'Sullivan8, Subashis Sahu9, Colin Butler10

1University of Canberra, Canberra, Australia. 2University of Belfast, Belfast, United Kingdom. 3Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, Basel, Switzerland. 4Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, Canada. 5FAO, Rome, Israel. 6University of Tasmania, Hobart, Australia. 7Edith Cowan University, Perth, Australia. 8University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia. 9University of Kalyani, Kalyani, India. 10Australian National University, Canberra, Australia

The achievement of the third Sustainable Development Goal (SDG3), Health and Wellbeing for All, depends on many other SDGs but there are also potential conflicts and trade-offs. We have examined SDG3 targets and identified the contexts in which positive outcomes for both forests and people can be met. We stress the importance of forests to global health and wellbeing as well as for Indigenous and local populations. In contrast, short-term economic and human health gains from further forest conversion (e.g. deforestation for food production) will create direct and indirect health risks for humans, as well as for other biota. Controlling indiscriminate burning and clearing of forests can reduce significant harm to health and wellbeing, via improved quality of water, soil, air (a transnational issue), by reducing exposure to some infectious diseases, through preservation of traditional (and future) medicines, and by supporting other forest resources and services, including climate regulation. Many infectious diseases are associated with forest disturbance and intrusions and some may be prevented or modified through forest management. Universal access to sexual and reproductive health-care services, including for family planning, is a critical SDG3 target to decrease demographic pressures on forests at local, regional and global scales, and to enhance wellbeing. Greater exposure to green space, including the 'urban forest', is likely to have many benefits for mental, social and physical health for the increasingly urban global population. More broadly, forests play important roles in enriching cultural and religious wellbeing.

Period29 Sep 20195 Oct 2019
Event titleInternational Union of Forest Research Organisations World Congress: Interconnecting Forests, Science and People
Event typeConference
Conference number25
LocationCuratiba, Brazil
Degree of RecognitionInternational