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Health is a good measure of the progress of nations in achieving sustainable development. It contributes to national development through productive employment, reduced expenditure on illness care and greater social cohesion. By promoting good health at all ages, the benefits of development extend across generations.


Forests & Good health and well-being

- Trees and woods can have a restorative and therapeutic effect on the mind - (Make it Wood, Planet Ark)

Forests and trees supply an abundance of ecosystem services that help in creating healthy living environments and in restoring degraded ecosystems. For many rural populations, non-wood forest products can provide the essential nutrients needed for good maternal and child health. Forests are also the source of fuel for cooking and boiling water within a large segment of the global population. Medicinal plants found in forests also provide ingredients used for both modern and traditional medicines.

In addition to tangible products, forests mitigate floods, droughts, and the effects of noise, purify water, bind toxic substances, maintain water quality and soil fertility, help in erosion control, protect drinking water resources, and can assist with processing wastewater.

Forests can mitigate climate change and may help in regulating infectious diseases.  Woodlands and trees have a positive impact on air quality through deposition of pollutants to the vegetation canopy, reduction of summertime air temperatures, and decrease of ultraviolet radiation.

Forests also provide recreational, cultural, spiritual, and aesthetic services. In cities, green spaces and urban parks improve mental and physical health and well-being.


PEFC’s contribution to SDG #3

- PEFC certification promotes sustainable forest management, helping to ensure we can all enjoy the benefits that forests provide forever -

Sustainably managed forests contribute to secure the crucial role that forests are playing by reducing the impact of the pollution on climate change affecting human health.

On the field, PEFC certification promotes Sustainable Forest Management and all the benefits derived from that, including non-wood forest products and ecosystem services but contribute also to forest workers’ health by making sure that safety and health practices are undertaken.



PEFC’s Sustainable Forest Management requirements contributing to SDG #3 :

(extracts from the PEFC Standards)

8.2 Maintenance of forest ecosystem health and vitality:
Pesticides requirements : Generally, integrated pest management and silviculture alternatives are to be preferred to minimizes the use of pesticides (8.2.6). Their use must be documented (8.2.7) and WHO Class 1A and 1B pesticides and other highly toxic pesticides are altogether prohibited (8.2.8)

6.3.4Health, safety and working conditions:
Working conditions shall be safe, and guidance and training in safe working practices shall be provided to all those assigned to a task in forest operations. Working hours and leave shall comply with national laws or applicable collective agreements. Guidance for specifying national standards can be obtained from the ILO Code of Good Practice: Safety and Health in Forestry Work (

Forest operations shall be planned, organised and performed in a manner that enables health and accident risks to be identified and all reasonable measures to be applied to protect workers from work-related risks. Workers shall be informed about the risks involved with their work and about preventive measures (

8.6 Maintenance or appropriate enhancement of socio-economic functions and conditions:
Management shall promote the long-term health and well-being of communities within or adjacent to the forest management area, where appropriate supported by engagement with local communities and indigenous peoples (8.6.4).

Management shall give due regard to the role of forestry in local economies. Special consideration shall be given to new opportunities for training and employment of local people, including indigenous peoples (8.6.6). Legal Compliance:
The organisation shall comply with applicable local, national and international legislation on forest management, including but not limited to forest management practices; nature and environmental protection; protected and endangered species; property, tenure and land-use rights for indigenous peoples, local communities or other affected stakeholders; health, labor and safety issues; anti-corruption and the payment of applicable royalties and taxes.

>> More about the SDGs on the UN website 

>> More about PEFC’s Sustainable Forest Management Requirements