Posts Tagged ‘ecosystem services’

Congress Spotlight #22 – Green cities: The benefits of the urban forest


Green cities: The benefits of the urban forest

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Experiencing the floodplain forests of the city of Leipzig, Germany, from the river (photo by Matilda Annerstedt)

Experiencing the floodplain forests of the city of Leipzig, Germany, from the river (photo by Matilda Annerstedt)

The urban forest means different things to different people.

Many of us see only visually pleasing tree-lined streets, or enjoy the coolness afforded by shade trees on hot days.

Those more closely involved with the urban forest see that – and much, much more.

They also see the urban forest in terms of the ecosystem services and values derived from it – reduced energy use of buildings, improved air quality, stream flows, water quality, urban wildlife, human health, climate change (in terms of both mitigation and species composition) and other benefits that are environmental, social and economic.

Read more…

IUFROLAT III Session Highlights: Impacts of logging on biodiversity in tropical forests

Impacts of logging on carbon storage and biodiversity in tropical production forests of Latin America

Moderator: Plinio Sist, CIRAD-ES, France

Friday, 14 June 2013, 8:00-10:00 (Chirripó)

Find more information on the IUFRO Task Force on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services at:

www.iufro.org/science/task-forces/biodiversity-ecosystem-services/

The session addressed the very important issue of the trade-offs between biomass harvest, carbon storage and biodiversity. Biomass harvest is negatively correlated with biomass storage and, in most cases, with biodiversity.

A key finding of the first presentation, which dealt with a permanent plot experiment in the Amazon, is that logging intensity affects biomass recovery rate and period. The study determined that increased logging intensity is ensued by increased recovery rate, but increases the recovery period.

Another presentation highlighted the effects of logging after 30 years on tree diameter, timber species and floristic diversity. Floristic diversity had recovered to the original state. Conversely, diameter distribution was less heterogeneous and tree species composition had shifted to pioneer and other light demanding species.

The role of individual big trees was also highlighted in a presentation. The study conducted in Pará, Amazon, found that selective logging caused a net biomass storage decrease. Moreover, selective logging creates instability in stands, which results in elevated natural mortality of individual big trees, even 8 years subsequent to logging.

Another presentation emphasised the role of disturbance regimes, showing data that El Nino decreased standing biomass more than logging; where mature stands suffered more damage than newly logged stands. Emphasis was placed on the importance of rotation cycles, as the risk of devastating disturbance regimes increased with increasing rotation periods.

Presentations in this session:

Is Tropical Forest Conservation through silviculture possible? The contribution of Tropical Production Forest Observatory Sentinel Landscape. (Plinio Sist, CIRAD-ES, France)

Thirty years after logging: Three species dynamics in the Tapajos National Forest, Eastern Amazon. (Ademir Ruschel, Embrapa Amazonia Oriental, Brazil

20 years forest dynamics study case in the Embrapa Acre Forest in Acre State, Brazilian Western Amazon. (Marcus d’Olivera)

La dinámica a largo plazo de la diversidad taxonómica y functional de especies leñosas en bosques lluviosos tropicales aprovechados y con tratamiento silvicultural en Costa Rica. (Bryan Finegan, CATIE, Costa Rica)

Post-logging biomass recovery: a pan-tropical analysis (J Putz, Alexander Shenkin)

IUFROLAT III Session Highlights: Forests, Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services

Bosques, Biodiversidad y Servicios Ecosistémicos / Forests, Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services

Session moderator: Bryan Finegan, CATIE, Costa Rica, IUFRO Task Force Coordinator

Thursday, 13 June 2013, 14:00-16:00 (Chirripó)

Find more information on the IUFRO Task Force Forests, Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services:

www.iufro.org/science/task-forces/biodiversity-ecosystem-services/

The session offered insight into functional ecology, with emphasis on climatic conditions along elevation gradients showing that biodiversity decreases with increasing altitude. It also dealt with the provision of ecosystem services in relation with biodiversity. Biodiversity is essential for pest damage resistance, for example. Source dilution, chemical signals and activity of natural enemies are identified as being essential for ensuring low pest damage. With increased source dilution, pests are less likely to establish themselves in a diverse setting. With increased chemical signals associated with diverse flora, pests are less likely to find their favourite source. And with a high number of natural enemies, whose presence is correlated with high biodiversity, pests are less likely to cause damage. Hence, diversification on a stand/landscape level is needed to ensure the provision of forest ecosystem services.

Plant conservation in Southeast Asia was another topic. In Malaysia, for example, efforts to preserve plants have become a prevalent goal for scientists. Diversity is vast, and since 40 – 50 % of the preserved species are endemic, 24% of which are either endangered (EN) or critically endangered (CR), conservation is a central goal. While the pleas of scientists are being heard in some cases, legal frameworks are needed to protect these species.

A presentation on the carbon sequestration potential for complex mosaic forest landscapes in western Mexico aimed at addressing shifting cultivation, framed in the carbon emission discourse. With shifting cultivation, carbon is released to the atmosphere, adding to GHG concentrations. However, the study showed that on a landscape level, there are no net carbon dioxide emissions, as the carbon sequestration rate of forest re-growth compensates for the carbon emission from shifting cultivation.

The presentation entitled “Native forest cover increase: drivers and implications on ecosystem services”, focused on why some areas in the Piracicaba river basin were allowed to reforest. Satellite imagery helped determine deforestation and reforestation from 1990 – 2010. Having preselected variables, the results demonstrate that natural reforestation occurs when slopes exceed 30%, when water proximity is less than 100 m, when annual rainfall exceeds 1400 mm, when elevation is lower than 400 m below sea level or more than 800 m above sea level, and when vicinity to towns is more than 7 km.

The final paper focused on Chakras, forestry systems that are employed by indigenous peoples in the Amazon. Plant composition in Chakras is heterogeneous; they provide multiple sources of food, are biodiverse and function as stores of carbon. The presented study demonstrated that in Chakras, fauna is more diverse, carbon storage is higher in both biomass and necromass than in comparable Cocoa plantations.

Presentations in this session:

Bosques lluviosos tropicales, biodiversidad y servicios ecosistémicos en la era de cambio global; nuevas perspectivas desde la ecología functional (Bryan Finegan, CATIE, Costa Rica)

Forest biodiversity and resistance to pest damage. (Eckehard Brockerhoff, Scion, New Zealand)

Challenges in Developing Practical Plant Conservation Strategy in SE Asia. (Su See Lee, FRIM, Malaysia)

Carbon sequestration potential for complex mosaic forest landscapes in western Mexico. (Lucia Morales Barquero, Bangor University, UK)

Native forest cover increase: drivers and implications on ecosystem services. (Paulo Molin, Laboratorio de Hidrología Florestal, Brazil)

Variación en el almacenamiento de carbono, conservación de la biodiversidad y productividad en dos sistemas productivos, comparados con bosques primarios en la Amazonia ecuatoriana. (Bolier Torres Navarrete, Universidad Estatal Amazónica, Ecuador)

IUFROLAT III Session Highlights: What REDD+ Looks Like on the Ground

What REDD+ looks like on the ground: evidence from the Amazon and beyond

Moderator: Niels Elers Koch, IUFRO President

Thursday, 13 June 2013, 08:00 – 10:00 (Santa Rosa 2)

Agricultural expansion has been identified as a key driver of deforestation in developing countries. The IPCC estimated that carbon dioxide emissions, as a consequence of deforestation, amounted to 20% of all anthropogenically induced carbon dioxide emissions in the 1990s. Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in developing countries (REDD+), has been proclaimed an environmental policy instrument that could potentially provide mitigative benefits for net carbon emissions and biodiversity degradation.

In the session entitled “What REDD+ looks like on the ground: evidence from the Amazon and beyond”, leading scientists addressed the relationship between biodiversity, carbon, forests and people, as well as experiences with the operationalization of REDD+ in Latin America.

The Global Forest Expert Panel (GFEP), which is coordinated by IUFRO, presented a global assessment report on REDD+, which consolidates the research of more than 50 leading scientists. The report constitutes a comprehensive analysis of the synergies and trade-offs between biodiversity, forest management and REDD+.

The assessment report proposes that biodiversity is paramount, as a prerequisite for providing ecosystem services. In the face of disturbance regimes such as climate change, ecosystem resilience, a product of biodiversity, ensures ecosystem service provision.

Moreover, a successful REDD+ implementation, that achieves mitigative net carbon emissions and ensures biodiversity provision, requires, in conjuncture with the implementation, the pursuit of social objectives by securing tenure rights and local engagement. Only when tenure and property rights are clearly defined can a REDD+ implementation be effective.

The session also included presentations on a global comparative study entitled “What REDD+ looks like on the ground: Carried out by CIFOR”. The study, which is t largest project ever undertaken by CIFOR, aims to provide scientific insights on how to ensure that REDD+ measures meet the three “E’s”; Effectiveness, Efficiency, Equity. As the first phase of the study has been completed, the findings of four cases were presented during the session. For more detailed information please visit the CIFOR webpage.

The Global Forest Expert Panel report can be downloaded at www.iufro.org/science/gfep

Presentations in this session:

Understanding relationships between biodiversity, carbon, forests and people: the key to achieving REDD+ objectives (John Parrotta, US Forest Service, USA)

What REDD+ looks like on the ground (Amy Duchelle)

Smallholder typology at a REDD+ project site in the Eastern Brazilian Amazon. (Marina Cromberg, CIFOR, Brazil)

Analyzing payments for environmental services as a way to improve social, economic and environmental resilience in rural settlements in northwestern Mato, Grosso, Brazil. (Raissa Guerra, University of Florida, Brazil)

Conservation transfers, livelihoods and land use: the case of Bolsa Floresta, Amazonas, Brazil (Amy Duchelle and Kim Bakkegaard)

Livelihoods, land use, land cover change and the implications for REDD+ in Brazil nut concessions in the Peruvian Amazon. (Valerie Garrish, CIFOR)

IUFROLAT III Keynote Address on 13 June 2013

Forests, Ecosystem Services and Poverty Alleviation: Charting a new research agenda

By Peter Dewees, Forest Advisor, World Bank

Peter_Dewees

Peter Dewees presents his keynote speech. (Photo courtesy of CATIE)

The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment defines ecosystem services as the benefits that people obtain from ecosystems. And ecosystem themselves are, speaking in economic terms, an asset, while their services would represent the flow of benefits. So paying for ecosystem services, once the benefits have been valued, has become a topic of interest especially with governments.

Ecosystem services are closely related to poverty alleviation, but it might be just a conventional wisdom to think that the deterioration of ecosystem services automatically leads to an aggravation of poverty. As a matter of fact, there is evidence that human wellbeing has been increasing while the environment and ecosystem services are declining. The Human Development Index illustrates this situation. So what are the underlying causes for this disconnect?

It might be that we are measuring the wrong things and disregard important factors, e.g. the time lag between the decline of ecosystems and the impact.

With regard to forests, global forest cover is declining and forest degradation is increasing for many reasons, yet in some rural landscapes tree numbers are growing. For the farmers, trees are important in many ways. In countries like Kenya, for example, they serve as field boundaries. Trees on farms can increase productivity and thus increase household incomes, they also help build resilience due to diversification of species. Trees on farms can build soil carbon.

So, incorporating trees in land management strategies is an important contribution to climate change mitigation. Consequently, what is really needed is to put in place policies to create incentives for better landscape management. Policies need to be informed by good data, and this is where research comes into the picture and the focus should be on fully recognizing the complexity of landscapes.

The data required should fulfil a set of criteria, of course. They need to be representative, suited for being aggregated, up-to-date, policy relevant and address the right questions.

In conclusion, Dewees particularly points out two research areas that should feature more prominently and deliver good data:

a) The role of household environment income with respect to productivity and consumption; risk and vulnerability; and equality;

b) Policy and public finance with regard to how to support farmer based adaptation and how to identify other points of entry such as social safety nets.

Third IUFRO Latin American Congress IUFROLAT III

IufroLat_esp_r1_c1
12-15 June 2013
San José, Costa Rica
Congress website: http://www.web.catie.cr/iufrolat/Iufro_ing.htm

This blog will present highlights and impressions from IUFROLAT III, the Third IUFRO Latin American Congress which starts today in the city of San José, Costa Rica and will run until Saturday, 15 June 2013. The Congress has been organized together with CATIE, the Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center, RIABM, the Iberoamerican Model Forest Network, FAO and several IUFRO members in the region. The overall theme of the Congress is “Forests, competitiveness and sustainable landscapes” and one of its major goals is to place relevant science-based information at the disposal of decision makers.

With up to 600 expected participants, IUFROLAT III has exceeded all expectations and has outnumbered previous regional Congresses by far. This clearly shows the extraordinary interest and need of scientists in Latin America to share and exchange information on the issues that are high on the agenda in the region concerning forest and landscape management, ecosystem services and climate change adaptation and mitigation, among others. The Congress languages being Spanish, English and Portuguese will further contribute to ensuring an excellent exchange of knowledge and experience.

IUFRO is placing particular emphasis on strengthening forest-related research in regions. Regional congresses are aimed to promote quality research as well as maintain the momentum of IUFRO activities in the five-year periods between IUFRO World Congresses in a certain region.

The great success of previous regional congresses, especially the First African Regional Congress held in Nairobi, Kenya, almost exactly one year ago, have confirmed the great need for IUFRO’s focusing on defined geographic areas. The first two IUFRO Latin American Congresses in Valdivia (1998) and La Serena (2006), both organized by INFOR, the Forest Research Institute of Chile, and the European Regional Congress that took place in Warsaw, Poland (2007), are further excellent examples.

IUFRO Board Meeting
Right before the Congress, the IUFRO Board (http://www.iufro.org/who-is-who/board/) held its annual meeting and important issues concerning the future of the network, its leadership, venues of world congresses and strategic guidelines are on the agenda. The decisions made at this Board meeting will pave the way for the next Board term starting after the next IUFRO World Congress in October 2014 in Salt Lake City, USA (http://www.iufro2014.com/).

IUFRO-SPDC Pre-Congress Training Workshop: Communicating Forest Research – Making Science work for Policy and Management
San José, Costa Rica, June 9-11

Prior to the Congress, IUFRO’s Special Programme for Development of Capacities (IUFRO-SPDC), formerly known as the Special Programme for Developing Countries in coordination with CATIE, carried out a training workshop for early-career scientists from the Latin American Region to strengthen capacities and skills in forest science communication. The workshop brought together 16 participants from 11 regional countries.

One attendant, Eduardo Lopez Rosse from CIDES-UMSA and UMSS-Trópico, Bolivia, expressed his thoughts on the workshop. “The workshop was a great experience… I learned how to transmit scientific information outside the academic arena to other stakeholders, municipalities in my country, as well as to the general public.”

Another scientist, Mariana Moya, Extension Advisor at the Facultad de Agronomía, Universidad de Buenos Aires of Argentina had this to say, “We have a lot of people in Latin America working intensively with small farmers, with aboriginal communities, and we must communicate with governments, private companies, and different kinds of social organizations. It is helpful to me to see experiences from people who work in Brazil, Chile, Panama, and how they are communicating in their extension programs.”

The workshop which concluded today was an excellent demonstration of the SPDC’ capacity development efforts in building strengthened communication of forest research in a region.

It is important to note that IUFRO-SPDC through generous contributions by the Governments of Finland, Germany and the United States of America as well as the Center for International Forestry Research supports a total of 66 scientists in the framework of the Scientist Assistance Programme to attend the IUFROLAT Congress, bringing scientists who otherwise may not have had the opportunity to come to such an event.

Information about the Training Courses and IUFRO-SPDC:
http://www.iufro.org/science/special/spdc/

Understanding Relationships between Biodiversity, Carbon, Forests and People: The Key to Achieving REDD+ Objectives

New GFEP assessment report published as IUFRO World Series 31
Edited by: John A. Parrotta, Christoph Wildburger, Stephanie Mansourian

Forests harbour a major proportion of the world’s terrestrial biodiversity and provide a wide range of vitally important ecosystem services – including carbon sequestration and storage. Deforestation and forest degradation continue to erode biodiversity and the capacity of forest ecosystems to help mitigate climate change and provide the goods and services that sustain livelihoods and human well-being locally, and globally. Reducing greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, and enhancing forest carbon stocks in developing countries (REDD+) is a proposed mechanism which has the potential to realise its primary objective – climate change mitigation – with variable impacts, positive and negative, on biodiversity, forests and people. REDD+ is complex, its proposed activities and implementation mechanisms not yet clearly defined, and therefore surrounded by uncertainty. Because of its high relevance to climate change mitigation, the conservation and sustainable use of forests and their biological diversity, the Expert Panel on Biodiversity, Forest Management and REDD+ was established by the Collaborative Partnership on Forests in December 2011 to carry out this assessment.

The Expert Panel included 24 scientists and other experts from a variety of biophysical and social science disciplines relevant to the topics covered in this assessment report. An additional 18 contributing authors added their expertise to the assessment. Each chapter was prepared by a team of Lead Authors and Contributing Authors led by one or more Coordinating Lead Authors. A full draft of the report and its individual chapters was peer-reviewed prior to its completion. The results of this voluntary collaboration between January and October 2012 are presented in the six inter-related chapters comprising this book.

This assessment report evaluates the implications of forest and land management interventions envisaged under REDD+ in a multidimensional and integrated fashion. It summarises the most current scientific literature that sheds light on the relationships between forest biodiversity and carbon (and other ecosystem services), how these complex relationships may be affected by management activities implemented to achieve REDD+ objectives, the potential synergies and tradeoffs between and among environmental and socio-economic objectives, and their relationship to governance issues. Based on the main findings of the assessment (summarised in Chapter 6), a policy brief entitled ‘REDD+, Biodiversity and People: Opportunities and Risks’ has been prepared especially for policy- and decision-makers.

The full report is formally presented at Forest Day 6 on 2 December during the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) meeting in Doha, Qatar (26 November-7 December, 2012).

The report, the policy brief and a press release – New Study Suggests Global Pacts Like REDD Ignore Primary Causes of Destruction of Forests – are available for download.

Report and Policy Brief: http://www.iufro.org/science/gfep/biodiv-forman-redd-panel/report/

Press Release: http://www.iufro.org/science/gfep/media-information/gfep-bfmr-assessment-press-release/

For more information about the Expert Panel on Biodiversity, Forest Management and REDD+, please visit:
http://www.iufro.org/science/gfep/biodiv-forman-redd-panel/

Forest and society: some thoughts on a possible interdisciplinary approach in IUFRO

Bikash Rath
Coordinator, IUFRO Working Party on Community Forestry (9.05.06)

PDF of full paper for download

Summary

Forests are the major source of our ecosystem services that the society avails for its sustenance and healthy growth. Forestry thus has continued to have a very complex and large social dimension with a number of interfaces between forest and society. These interfaces range from exploitation to protection & conservation. They form the key to an interdisciplinary approach between forestry sciences and social sciences, and create the potential for a mutual collaboration between the two. Read more…

IUFRO - The International Union of Forest Research Organizations