Forests & climate change
- Climate change is one of the most urgent challenges of our time. In Latin America, as temperature and rainfall patterns change, the areas currently suitable for coffee production and the number of bees, which boost coffee production, will shrink. A recent study by CIFOR shows, however, that maintaining and restoring healthy forests near the coffee plantations can help to reduce the negative impacts of climate change by providing a permanent habitat for bees.
- Apropos of climate, a theory linking forest cover and cyclonic storms is gaining acceptance. A group of physicists and ecologists suggests that because forests and cyclones share a fundamental relationship to atmospheric moisture and dynamics, less forest cover could mean more frequent and more powerful storms.
- Using shade trees in cocoa plantations is often proposed as a strategy to cope with climate change effects, as shade species buffer cocoa plants from heat and water stress. However, a recent study shows that this agroforestry strategy is only advantageous if the shade tree species suits the local conditions. For example, a species with shallow root systems will be well suited to wet areas but will compete with cocoa plants for soil water in drier conditions.
- To learn more about how to identify suitable and vulnerable areas for shade species in Central America, check ICRAF’s atlas “Suitability of key Central American agroforestry species under future climates”. The publication provides habitat suitability maps for 54 species and helps to develop strategies for climate change adaptation.
Timber & plantations
- Building with wood is becoming more popular in Europe. In contrast to concrete and other man-made materials, locally harvested wood from sustainably managed has a small carbon footprint. In fact, many considered wood as the only significant renewable construction material. In Germany, about a quarter of residential homes and apartment buildings are now being built out of wood. In Norway, the world’s tallest wooden building, the Mjøsa Tower, is being built. The 18-storey building will stand over 80 meters tall and house offices, a hotel and apartments.
- The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) recently launched the first voluntary guidelines for forest concessions in the tropics. The publication provides practical recommendations to plan, implement and monitor forest concessions to make them more sustainable, transparent and inclusive.
- A reforestation project in Peruvian Amazon, Camino Verde, is working together with local farmers to restore degraded areas. The project promotes non-timber products such as essential oils and their efforts are now focused on canelón, a wild cinnamon tree. They are currently developing a protocol on collecting seeds, growing and planting seedlings, and sustainably harvesting the tree’s leaves and branches. To learn more about the project and its team, check this video.
Events to note
- November 28, 18:30, Zurich – Switzerland: A Lecture by Tony Rinaudo – Right Livelihood Award 2018 (free registration link)
Tony Rinaudo, honoured with the Right Livelihood Award 2018, will give a public talk at the University of Zürich. The entrance is free. An excellent opportunity to listen about this extraordinary work, which we have also covered in our “Voices” interviews: https://www.reforestationworld.org/voices/
- The 2018 edition of The State of the World’s Forests (FAO) examines the inter-linkages between forests and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The report uses scientific sources and case studies to show the social, economic and environmental impact of forests and trees across the SDGs.