Forests and Deforestation

The earth’s forests are one of its most valuable natural assets to fight climate change. As natural carbon ‘sinks’, the amount of carbon they consume through photosynthesis (converting CO2 to oxygen) plays a crucial role in regulating the earth’s temperature. Yet across the globe forests are under severe threat: both from other landforms such as encroaching grassland and deserts and from human intervention. Private enterprise and governments alike view forests as a resource to be developed and harvested; if this is undertaken without sustainable forestry management principles in place or respect for the rights of indigenous communities who live in these zones, then the impacts quickly escalate out of control. Deforestation accounts for a considerable percentage of greenhouse gas emissions globally; in order to curb these emissions levels the REDD programme (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) agreed at the 2009 Copenhagen climate talks sets financial incentives on forest resources in order to encourage their long-term conservation and management.

See also: Biodiversity and Climate Change, Tipping Points.

Further Resources

UN-REDD Protocol
Tropical Deforestation Resources and Images (NASA Earth Observatory)
Global Canopy Programme (Oxford, UK)

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One Comment

  1. Posted May 18, 2010 at 2:36 am | Permalink

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