Forests are not only important for the 1.6 billion people who depend on them for their livelihoods, but for the world's population at large. Forests play a critical role in the Earth's life support system, including global carbon and hydrological cycles. To help communicate the value of forests to policy/makers and the wider public, three United Nations organizations / entities UNEP, FAO and UNFF joined efforts to analyse, synthsize and illustrate tropical forest issues. The Vital Forest Graphics provides an overview of the global trends in forest cover and looks specifically at the four largest forest ecosystems and analyses the trends and challenges in their conservation and management. It scrutinizes some of the key drivers behind forest loss, including the increasing demand for commodities and energy. Finally, it reviews some of the best practices for sustainable management of forest, including management of forest, including regulatory regimes, participatory management and economic incentives.