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Symposium 2012

Solution for Protecting and Restoring the World’s Forests

The Challenge

Forests are one of the world's major sources of ecosystem goods and services, including timber and water provision, carbon sequestration and biological diversity. Yet, destructive logging and increasi ...

Forests are one of the world's major sources of ecosystem goods and services, including timber and water provision, carbon sequestration and biological diversity. Yet, destructive logging and increasing global demand for agricultural area for food, feed and bioenergy production continue to put pressure on forests, leading to loss of biodiversity and degradation of ecosystem services. Without any action, this contributes to the development that future generations might inherit a planet with a much poorer life web and unstable climate than today, which turns the protection and restoration of World's forests into one of the prominent ethical issues of our time.

Focus on protecting and restoring the remaining natural forests, rather than on new plantations.

While new plantations are needed and while they can help reduce the pressures on natural forests, planting trees somewhere else to substitute for natural forests cannot replace the biodiversity and habitats destroyed.

Importantly, the one-time carbon emissions released when natural forests are cleared and burned dwarf the annual carbon sequestration potential of plantations that replace them. This is particularly true for humid tropical forest and most importantly peatland forest.

The same holds true for the destruction of irreplaceable genetic information (biodiversity) when natural forests are cleared as plantations are only able to reproduce a very small fraction of the original biological richness, especially in megadiverse countries and environments. Furthermore, for biodiversity and habitat protection, it is equally important to prevent forests from being divided into many small patches as continuously forested areas are important corridors for many species. Existing plantations should be further developed so that they are able to support the natural functioning of forests. This could be a valuable part of the solution to reduce pressures on natural forests.

    Related Solutions

    Solution
    Symposium 2012

    To avoid "leakage effects" into natural savannahs and grasslands, include protection of these biomes in the design of forest protection policies.

    To avoid "leakage effects" into natural savannahs and grasslands, include protection of these biomes in the design of forest protection policies.

    To avoid "leakage effects" into natural savannahs and grasslands, include protection of these biomes in the design of forest protection policies.

    Polity, Business
    Solution
    Symposium 2012

    Expand the REDD+ initiative for forest preservation with contingent payments based on proven performance beyond deforestation to forest degradation and carbon stocks.

    Expand the REDD+ initiative for forest preservation with contingent payments based on proven performance beyond deforestation to forest degradation and carbon stocks.

    Expand the REDD+ initiative for forest preservation with contingent payments based on proven performance beyond deforestation to forest degradation and carbon stocks.

    Polity, Civil Society
    Solution
    Symposium 2012

    In the short term, promote funds such as the Amazon and the Forest Investment Program (FIP) Funds to finance forest protection projects.

    In the short term, promote funds such as the Amazon and the Forest Investment Program (FIP) Funds to finance forest protection projects.

    In the short term, promote funds such as the Amazon and the Forest Investment Program (FIP) Funds to finance forest protection projects.

    Polity, Business, Civil Society
    Solution
    Symposium 2012

    To protect forests more effectively, coordinate measures between different government institutions, establish effective monitoring systems and ensure short-term law enforcement.

    To protect forests more effectively, coordinate measures between different government institutions, establish effective monitoring systems and ensure short-term law enforcement.

    To protect forests more effectively, coordinate measures between different government institutions, establish effective monitoring systems and ensure short-term law enforcement.

    Polity, Academia, Business, Civil Society
    Solution
    Symposium 2012

    Adopt and strengthen the use of international certification schemes for sustainable origins of forest products.

    Adopt and strengthen the use of international certification schemes for sustainable origins of forest products.

    Adopt and strengthen the use of international certification schemes for sustainable origins of forest products.

    Polity, Academia, Business, Civil Society
    Solution
    Symposium 2012

    In the context of a new information-based, low carbon emission economy, promote biodiversity as a prominent strategic target in global and regional development policies and planning.

    In the context of a new information-based, low carbon emission economy, promote biodiversity as a prominent strategic target in global and regional development policies and planning.

    In the context of a new information-based, low carbon emission economy, promote biodiversity as a prominent strategic target in global and regional development policies and planning.

    Polity, Academia, Business, Civil Society