Over 1.6 billion people depend directly on forests for their livelihoods across the world, and forests play a crucial role in the Earth's life support system - including the global carbon and hydrological cycles. Some areas of the world are experiencing net gains in forest cover, through the natural expansion or reforestation efforts. However, deforestation in some areas of the world continues apace, impacting livelihoods and the global climate. The UN estimates that 18% of global carbon dioxide emissions stem from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries. Avoiding deforestation and degradation is therefore a priority in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.