There is increasing scientific acceptance that we have entered a new “Anthropocene Epoch” wherein human influence, especially in climate and global population, is altering the evolution of virtually every ecosystem on the planet (see " Redefining Forest Conservation in the Anthropocene "). Representing one-quarter of terrestrial ecosystems, but containing an estimated two-thirds of carbon in living terrestrial organisms, and nearly three-quarters of terrestrial species, our forests face growing risk in the Anthropocene.
Advocates and practitioners of conservation are already struggling to protect biodiversity and other essential values and services of forest ecosystems. The accelerating pace of environmental change is prompting a fundamental re-evaluation of existing strategies. The mounting challenges of the Anthropocene have also generated a healthy debate within the scientific community about the basic vision and goals for conservation and sustainable management of the world’s forests.