IUFRO Regional Congress for Asia and Oceania 2016
24 – 27 October 2016, Beijing, China
Forests for Sustainable Development: The Role of Research
The Beijing Declaration
Forest landscape restoration (FLR) can be a major weapon in the battle against climate change.
FLR can contribute to climate change mitigation and adaptation by increasing the productivity of landscapes and by enhancing the resilience of forest ecosystems and reducing the vulnerability of forest-dependent communities.
When one considers that about 25% of the world’s land surface is being degraded in one way or another and about 15% of that land surface is considered appropriate for forest landscape restoration, it underlines both the need for significant remedial action while, at the same time, pointing to a reasonable and beneficial way to achieve that restoration. Read more…
A 3-day training workshop on science-policy interactions for forest and landscape restoration took place on 4-6 September 2015 in Durban, South Africa, prior to the World Forestry Congress. The workshop was organized by IUFRO’s Special Programme for Development of Capacities (SPDC) in collaboration with the World Resources Institute (WRI), and brought together a group of 14 early and mid-career scientists, educators and professionals from developing countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. http://www.iufro.org/science/special/spdc/actproj/twdurban/ Read more…
Interview with four participants of the IUFRO-SPDC/WRI training workshop on science-policy interactions for forest and landscape restoration on 4-6 September 2015 in Durban, South Africa, prior to the World Forestry Congress: http://www.iufro.org/science/special/spdc/actproj/twdurban/
Mercedes Sá is a Forestry Engineer from Argentina. She works for the national government in the Directorate of Forestry. She is not a traditional scientific researcher because her every day work is related with the supervision of conservation and management plans of native forestry resources, including restoration activities, that all the provinces of Argentina approve for the compensation of environmental services under the framework of a National Law. Read more…
Enhancing forest-related development: Community and smallholder forestry in the nexus of markets, policy, and implementation
Forests hold the potential to contribute to sustainable local development in many regions of the world. For this potential to be realized, rural dwellers need to have access to healthy forests, need to be linked to markets, and hold capacities to actively engage in forest product value chains. This requires an enabling legal environment and supportive policies. For the last two decades, considerable efforts and investment have been devoted to improve these enabling conditions in many locations and at different scales. Even so, in many places in the world where a forestry development potential may exist, deforestation and forest degradation, unfavourable legal environments and policies and competition with better endowed or politically well-connected entrepreneurs prevail. Read more…
To manage forests sustainably – think synergy
The title of the publication, produced by the IUFRO Special Project on World Forests, Society and Environment (IUFRO-WFSE), is Forests Under Pressure – Local Responses to Global Issues.
By John Parrotta (Deputy Coordinator, IUFRO Division 8) and Lawal Marafa (Chair of the Conference Organizing Committee)
Dealing with uncertainties
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.
Forests play a major role in achieving Millennium Development Goal 1 to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger and in striving for food security. Globally, millions of people depend on forests for their food security and nutrition, directly through the consumption or sale of foods produced in forests, indirectly through forest-related employment and income, forest ecosystem services, and forest biodiversity.
Current approaches to increasing food security tend to concentrate on agricultural solutions, ranging from intensification of agricultural production outside of forests to promoting agroforestry systems. Policy recommendations to establish a framework for promoting food security from forests, however, have so far been rather general and no framework addresses the relationship between forests and food security directly.
The “International Conference on Forests for Food Security and Nutrition”, held at FAO Headquarters in Rome in May 2013, inter alia conveyed the key message that forests, trees and agroforestry systems demand greater attention in strategies for food security and nutrition and in the fight against hunger. It also called for improved data collection at national and international levels.
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)
Forests, Ecosystem Services and Poverty Alleviation: Charting a new research agenda
By Peter Dewees, Forest Advisor, World Bank
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.