The same can be said for another threatening global commons issues- the loss of forest cover and the advance of deserts ans savannas the world over. Few of us realize how central a role forests play. Along with woodlands and scattered trees, forests provide the planet's population with shelter, food, fuelwood, medicines, building materials and paper. About two-thirds of all terrestrial species are in forest areas, which are thus critical to biodiversity conservation. And when forests grow, they squester carbon-so they are crucial part of the fight against global warming.