Putting a Halt to Tropical Forest Loss is a
Matter of Human Survival
(Vienna, 9 September 2019) Never before, it seems, have forests received as much public attention as at present. Sadly, the reasons for this are most distressing: forest fires of unprecedented dimensions all over the globe; a growing lack of resistance of trees to stressors such as drought, pests and diseases; and the uncontrolled exploitation of forests in environmentally sensitive areas.
Human needs and our environment continue to change. Because of that, forest management practices, in terms of sustainable forest management (SFM), need to be updated, said Dr. Liu Shirong, Professor of Forest Ecology and Hydrology and President of the Chinese Academy of Forestry, Beijing, China.
Communication has been defined as the process of passing information
and understanding from one person to another. But, to be effective, the
information passed must be in a language and terminology that the person
or persons receiving it will understand.
How does one decide how to manage a forest ethically?
One could simply say: do the right thing. But, the right thing for whom? And defining right and wrong – concepts that can vary according to moral climate or individual circumstance – is not all that simple.
Because of climate change, forest tree species have
three options. They can adapt, migrate, or extirpate.
“The outcome depends upon the tree species and
population, its genetic variation, its reproductive biology and flowering synchronization,
its migration potential and whether the environments in the areas it can
migrate will be hospitable enough to allow it to survive,” said Dr.
Paraskevi Alizoti of the Laboratory of Forest Genetics and Tree Improvement in
the School of Forestry and Natural Environment at Aristotle University of
Since the 1980s most deforestation globally has occurred in tropical countries – Africa, South America and Asia. The high rate of deforestation and degradation contributes to the disappearance of 13 million hectares of tropical forests each year.
Dr. Mika Rekola, representing the University of Helsinki and IUFRO, was featured on a panel discussion where he presented his background paper co-authored by Dr. Monica Gabay. The paper highlighted three key messages.
“In recent years gender equality in forestry has received a lot of attention – or lip service, anyway – but that’s not good enough. There exist a lot of loose ends at the practice and at the policy level,” said Dr. Purabi Bose, author, social environmental scientist, filmmaker and deputy coordinator of the IUFRO Gender and Forestry Research Group.
As a result of the extreme weather driven by climate change, fires are an increasingly common fact of life globally – one that calls for new approaches to living with fire, according to a report developed by a multinational team of experts.