Sunday, November 30, 2008

Climate Change Could Destroy Vast Forests, Report Warns

BOGOR, Indonesia, November 28, 2008 (ENS) - Without immediate concerted action by governments, climate change could have a devastating effect on the world's forests and the nearly one billion people who depend on them for their livelihoods, warned forest scientists in a report to be released next week at the UN climate conference in Poland.

Scientists from the Center for International Forestry Research, CIFOR, in Bogor say adaptation measures to reduce the vulnerability of forests and forest-dependent communities are urgently needed. Forests will experience an unprecedented combination of flooding, drought, wildfire, and other effects of a warming climate over at least the next 100 years.
"We have identified two broad categories of adaptation measures for forest ecosystems," said Bruno Locatelli, a CIFOR scientist and lead author of the report.
"The first is to buffer ecosystems against climate-related disturbances like improving fire management to reduce the risk of uncontrolled wildfires or the control of invasive species," Locatelli explained. "In plantations, we can select species that are better suited to coping with the predicted changes in climate."
"The second would help forests to evolve towards new states better suited to the altered climate," he said. "In this way we evolve with the changing climate rather than resist it." More >>>

[The more forests we lose the less CO2 that gets sequestered by them and the faster the planet warms. Saving existing forests and indeed, a world wide tree planting campaign (which could be used to create jobs in developing countries) is equally as important. Editor]