Climate value of Earth’s intact forestsLeave a Comment
- Conservation efforts and the fight against climate change risk failure unless intact forests are preserved
February 26, 2018 Wildlife Conservation Society read full ScienceDaily article here
New research published today in Nature Ecology & Evolution demonstrates the extraordinary value of Earth’s remaining intact forests for addressing climate change and protecting wildlife, critical watersheds, indigenous cultures, and human health.
Yet the global policy and science communities do not differentiate among the relative values of different types of forest landscapes — which range from highly intact ones to those which are heavily logged, fragmented, burnt, drained and/or over-hunted — due in part to the lack of a uniform way of measuring their quality….
….Retaining the integrity of intact forests must be a central component of global and national environmental strategies, alongside current efforts to stabilize deforestation frontiers and stimulate restoration. The researchers recommend several policy interventions to fill this gap, including:
- Creating new standard metrics of intactness that can be used to raise awareness of the importance of forest quality and to help target action towards the most intact places.
- Embedding the intact forests concept in the UN Framework Convention on Climate and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Special Reports, to help ensure the Paris Agreement’s climate commitments include intact forest protections.
- Supporting global and local forest policies that limit road expansion; regulate hunting, extraction, and development; invest in restoration and protected areas; and help secure indigenous communities’ land tenure rights.
- Supporting efforts that both restore and make degraded forests more productive while also conserving at-risk intact systems — rather than opening intact forests to activity.
James E. M. Watson, Tom Evans, Oscar Venter, Brooke Williams, Ayesha Tulloch, Claire Stewart, Ian Thompson, Justina C. Ray, Kris Murray, Alvaro Salazar, Clive McAlpine, Peter Potapov, Joe Walston, John G. Robinson, Michael Painter, David Wilkie, Christopher Filardi, William F. Laurance, Richard A. Houghton, Sean Maxwell, Hedley Grantham, Cristián Samper, Stephanie Wang, Lars Laestadius, Rebecca K. Runting, Gustavo A. Silva-Chávez, Jamison Ervin, David Lindenmayer. The exceptional value of intact forest ecosystems. Nature Ecology & Evolution, 2018; DOI: 10.1038/s41559-018-0490-x