Roots for growth: Why protecting and restoring forests is one of the best things any government can do for its people

Read the full story from the Nature Conservancy.

Faced with an uncertain future and limited resources, where should governments invest to ensure the well-being of their citizens?  Job development for struggling rural economies? Better infrastructure to shore up water security? Improved health services?

The problem is that these are all pressing issues. Wages—and incomes generally—are stagnating for most people. Job satisfaction is down, especially among the young, and increasing numbers of working-age people are unable to participate in the labor force. But at the same time, we face a global environmental breakdownimpacting our climate, the ocean and freshwater ecosystems, and every form of life that depends on them.

One recent report from the United Kingdom’s Institute of Public Policy Research suggests that the combination of global warming, soil infertility, pollinator loss, chemical leaching and ocean acidification is creating a “new domain of risk” that is hugely underestimated by policymakers at present—even though it may pose the greatest threat to human society in human history.

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