Impacts of addressing Sustainable Development Goal 3 Health and Wellbeing on forests and forest people

Rosemary McFarlane, John Barry, Gueadio Cisse, Maya Gislason, Marta Gruca, Kerryn Higgs, Pierre Horwitz, Giang Huu Nguyen, Jane O'Sullivan, Subashis Sahu, Colin BUTLER

Research output: Contribution to conference (non-published works)Abstract


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.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages2
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2019
EventInternational Union of Forest Research Organisations World Congress: Interconnecting Forests, Science and People - Curatiba, Brazil
Duration: 29 Sept 20195 Oct 2019
Conference number: 25


ConferenceInternational Union of Forest Research Organisations World Congress
Abbreviated titleIUFRO 2019
Internet address


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