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Forests for Human Health in Asia

Forests for Human Health in Asia - An Expanded Policy Brief

In recent years, global public health challenges have taken centre stage. The COVID-19 pandemic has created severe healthcare disruptions and reversed decades of health and economic improvements. In addition to infectious diseases, the surge of non-communicable diseases has also become a major public health threat. Global factors, including urbanisation and climate change, further exacerbate such adverse effects on human health and wellbeing.

Forests have immense potential to contribute to the mental, physical, and social health and wellbeing of humans. Forests, trees and green spaces can provide nutritious food and medicines, support climate change mitigation and adaptation, filter air and water pollutants, and offer areas of recreation and restoration. At the same time, poor practices of conservation and management of forests can result in adverse effects on human health with the emergence of zoonotic diseases, forest fires, and allergic outcomes.

The policy brief was launched on 10 October 2023 on the occasion of World Mental Health Day.

Forests for Human Health in Asia - An Expanded Policy Brief

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New Asia Policy Brief Calls for Better Integration of Health Benefits of Forests  - 10 October 2023

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Photo John Parrotta for IUFRO:
Medicinal plants offered on a market in India.

Photo Sital Uprety for IUFRO:
People visiting the serene Kiyomizu-dera temple in Kyoto, Japan

Photo Alexander Buck for IUFRO:
Urban development in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia