‘Citizen science’: A way to fight invasive species?
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At Shelley Beach, a few miles North of San Francisco, tanoaks and oaks, the most sacred trees to native people of the Northern California coast, have been decimated due to the exotic disease known as Sudden Oak Death (SOD). SOD is thus not only changing the landscape dynamics but also profoundly altering the local culture. (Photo by Matteo Garbelotto)
Invasive species are a threat to forest ecosystems around the world.
No surprise there.
Thousands of invasive flora and fauna have been transported – sometimes by accident, sometimes by design – to different continents and countries. Very often their impact is detrimental to their new region.
But, usually when one thinks of the negative impacts of invasive species, top of mind would be the effect on the economy – for instance, phytophthora dieback, an Asian import, affects the economically important jarrah tree in Australia. Or perhaps one would think of environmental damage, such as the destructive swath cut through the forests of Tierra del Fuego by imported North American beaver, to give just two illustrations of unwanted economic/environmental results.
Consumers and Industry: Keen on Green
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Looking toward the future is enough to make you, ahem, “turn green” with envy.
© beermedia – Fotolia.com
It’s all about a greener future.
That future and, more specifically, how it relates to the world’s forests will be one of many subjects discussed at the XXIV IUFRO World Congress in Salt Lake City, Utah, this fall.
A session there, entitled Forests and Forest Products for a Greener Future will look at how business and marketing will contribute to that goal.
Organized by Eric Hansen of Oregon State University, Tom Hammett of Virginia Tech and Birger Solberg of the Norwegian University of Life Sciences, it will cover a wide range of business and marketing theory topics that address how products and markets (timber and non-timber) can be expected to contribute to the greening effect.
Forest outlook: What does the future hold?
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Logs being moved by sea to a sawmill. Major changes in the patterns of demand for logs may result in them being processed in a different country to where they were harvested. (Photo by John Innes)
Forest researchers from around the world will gather at the IUFRO 24th World Congress in Salt Lake City this fall where one of the issues will be to address the future, and the related challenges, facing forests and forest management in the 21st century.
Providing a sort of scientific crystal ball to give glimpses into the years ahead and discuss how to meet and adapt to coming challenges will be a sub-plenary session at the congress entitled, appropriately enough, “The Future of Our Forests”.
Resources for the Future (http://www.iufro.org/science/task-forces/resources-for-future/), the IUFRO Task Force behind this session, has set out to examine four major game-changers – globalization, plantations, new products and forest ecosystem services – and what they mean, and will mean, for forests, forest research and forest-dependent communities.
By John Parrotta (Deputy Coordinator, IUFRO Division 8) and Lawal Marafa (Chair of the Conference Organizing Committee)
Dealing with uncertainties
“Adopting REDD+” conference (Photo by Lawal Marafa)
REDD+ (reducing greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, and enhancing forest carbon stocks in developing countries) is an evolving mechanism for climate change mitigation under continued debate within and outside of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). While it has the potential to realize its primary climate change mitigation objective, there is considerable uncertainty regarding its actual or potential impacts on biodiversity, forests and the livelihoods of people in the tropical and sub-tropical forested landscapes where REDD+ implementation is envisaged.
How IUFRO’s Special Programme for Development of Capacities (SPDC) contributes to enhancing forest science communication within the framework of a Climate Change Adaptation Program in Bhutan.
Photo by András Darabant, BOKU, Austria
Would you like to see your forest be wrapped up in plastic? Well, this is what Bhutanese society will witness due to a research project that aims at simulating drought, which may affect the region’s forests in the future as a result of climate change. In order to inflict drought stress on mature trees, entire research plots of considerable size have been covered with plastic roofs in about 2 m height above ground level, preventing rain water from reaching the soil and roots of trees. But would local people show understanding for such a measure and approve of it easily?
NOTE: This text is reblogged from the CIFOR blog post at http://blog.cifor.org/20697/toss-cliches-aside-and-consider-gender-in-landscape-context-expert#.Us022ifzzTO
We need to challenge our own blind spots and put gender research into practice, said Esther Mwangi, a senior scientist with the Forests and Governance Program at the Center for International Forestry Research. CIFOR/Ollivier Girard
WARSAW, Poland (18 December 2013) — Crafting development strategies based on credible research results rather than relying on outdated, unsubstantiated statistics will eliminate gender stereotypes and boost the fight against climate change, a development expert says.
Steering sustainable development polices toward a “landscapes approach” framework, which applies an integrated approach to land management, will make the relevance of gender to environmental debates even more apparent, said Seema Arora-Jonsson, associate professor of rural development with the University of Agricultural Sciences in Uppsala, Sweden.
How well-prepared are today’s forestry students? How do professionals, teachers, and students themselves perceive upcoming challenges and chances in terms of forestry education? Do university curricula adequately prepare forestry graduates to meet the demands and needs of the job market?
IUFRO, the global network for forest science cooperation and IFSA, the International Forestry Students’ Association are well-positioned to tackle this issue of forestry education at an academic level, owing to their global scope and mission statements.
Discussion Forum on Governance and Legal Frameworks… Photo by Hugo Pierre, IUFRO
1. How can landscape approaches contribute to the UNFCCC process?
Landscape approaches require governance and legal frameworks to cross levels and sectors, informed by the best possible science of the problem. A policy learning architecture is needed to assess how interests and imperatives are prioritized and how collaborative solutions can be found.
2. How can landscape approaches contribute to the design of Sustainable Development Goals and their achievement?
You’ve got an issue? We’ve got options.
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Over the last 30 years practitioners and scholars have been dealing with a range of interventions designed to improve global forest management. These included criteria and indicators (C&I), forest certification and, more recently, legality verification and REDD+, to name but a few.
Editor of the Series Benjamin Cashore, Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies
Despite these well intended efforts, frustration exists about their impacts on the ground when addressing deforestation, forest degradation, carbon emissions, and improving the livelihoods of forest dependent people.
Often, potentially transformative interventions are “abandoned” prematurely and replaced by new interventions as stakeholders “learn” about limited results on the ground.
How might learning be developed that might help nurture enduring institutions capable of addressing such thorny challenges?
Is there a chance of providing enough food for 9 billion people on earth and at the same time ensuring that natural resources such as forests, soil and water are not depleted or destroyed and climate change impacts are not aggravated? This is the main question that the Global Landscape Forum will address in the coming two days in between the first and the second week of the COP19 climate negotiations in Warsaw.
One day ahead of the GLF, a distinguished panel shared their thoughts on the Global Landscape Forum’s goals and importance to international climate discussions and negotiations at a press briefing.