023_Global13_Insight_Forestry

Global 13

Global InsightSustainable Forestry struction of forests is helping to expose peatland, which is burned Forests lost and gained- agricultural output the country enjoys. In South-East Asia, the de and causes vast smogs. South America had a net loss of88 million ha of forest between All over the world, forests act as natural cleansers and as the 1990-2010 (about 9 percent of its total forest area existing in 1990) lungs of the planet. Forests can even help to protect people against and its forest area fell to below50 percent of the region’s total land the ravages of climate change. During the 2004 Asian tsunami, area for the first time. it quickly became evident that coastal areas where the mangrove swamps had been cleared for prawn farms were far more vulnera- Africa, between 1990-2010, had a net loss of75 million ha of forest ble to the great waves than areas where the mangroves were intact. (about10 percent of total forest area in 1990). They acted as an effective natural barrier. Worldwide net deforestation fell from8.3 million ha/year in “Solutions are at hand if we choose to make use of them,” says 1990–2000 to5.2 million ha/year in 2000-2010. Rebecca Chacko, senior director for climate policy at Conservation International. “Nature’s inherent defence systems can help soci- In 2000-2010, high levels of deforestation continued in the two eties survive and adapt to the impacts of global climate change. regions ofSouth America andAfrica, while the other three regions, Ecosystem-based adaptation measures, which strengthen so-called Asia,Europe,North andCentral America, showed a netincrease green infrastructure by building resilience in ecosystems such as in their forest area. mangroves, forests, watersheds and coral reefs, are among the most Between 2000-2010, the world lost130 million ha of forest (about immediate and cost-effective means we have to protect people.” 3.2 percent of the forest area existing in 2000) but regained78 Deforestation is responsible for at least 16 percent of greenhouse million ha as newly planted forests and natural forest expansion. gas emissions. Preserving forests and managing them in a sustain- able manner is by far the cheapest way of cutting carbon dioxide. Despite the global improvement to deforestation rates, forest Reforesting areas that have already been destroyed or degraded is biomass is still reducing annually by an amount that is equivalent also cheap, at less than $1 a tree in some areas. So one might have to1.8 billion tonnes CO2, equivalent to3.7 percent of global CO2 expected sustainable forestry to play a key role at the most recent emissions. The annual value of wood used was nearlyUS$100 climate change conference in Doha, Qatar. Discussions were tabled billion and other forest products nearlyUS$19 billion. on the UN mechanism for Reduced Emissions from Deforestation The deforestation of tropical rainforests is estimated by the IUCN to and Forest Degradation, known for short as REDD+, which is the account for the loss of100 species a day. world’s only international system for paying people to keep forests standing and to reforest damaged areas. Direct forest employment (excluding industrial employment) is But decisions on REDD+ were put off for another year, in part estimated at10 million people. because of a failure to sort out how countries could account for their More than300 million people live in forests. greenhouse gas emissions. It was a serious setback, not least because Forests cover31 percentof the world’s total land area. More than40 percent of the world’s oxygen is produced by rainforests. Countries reportingincreased forest areas:Russia,USA,China and India. Tropical forests under sustainable management haveincreased by 50 percent since 2005, from 69 million ha to 183 million ha. Sources: FAO, IUCN, ITTO globalfirst quarter 2013 www.global-briefing.org l23


Global 13
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