The biodiversity and climate imperative to protect primary forests implications for forest policy
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The Biodiversity and Climate Imperative to Protect Primary Forests: Implications for Forest Policy. IUCN World Conservation Congress Session 066 Sept. 7, 2012 14:30-16:30 Rm 402. Outline.

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The biodiversity and climate imperative to protect primary forests implications for forest policy

The Biodiversity and Climate Imperative to Protect Primary Forests: Implications for Forest Policy

IUCN World Conservation Congress

Session 066

Sept. 7, 2012

14:30-16:30 Rm 402


The biodiversity and climate imperative to protect primary forests implications for forest policy

Outline

  • Chair: RazeenaOmar (Chief Director: Integrated Coastal Management at Marine and Coastal Management, Republic of South Africa)

  • Primary forest values (Brendan Mackey, Regional Councillor, Oceania/Griffith University)

  • Update on Meso-America forest reality (Eduard Müller, WCPA/University for International Cooperation)

  • Is sustainable industrial logging the solution? (Cyril Kormos, WILD/WCPA)

  • Solutions & the conservation economy (Virginia Young, RCS)

  • Open discussion

    • Next steps - Policy reform - Role of IUCN

    • Ethical considerations – corruption - governance


The biodiversity and climate imperative to protect primary forests implications for forest policy

About 50% of world’s natural forests have been cleared,

~4 billion ha remains but only 1.45 billion ha of primary forest (i.e. 15% of original forest biome)

  • Ongoing threats to primary forests

  • Industrial logging (legal, illegal)

  • Mining (corporate, cowboy)

  • Cropping (food, biofuel feedstock)

  • Livestock (cattle)

  • Urbanisation & peri-urbanisation

  • Infrastructure (transportation hydro-power)

Source: WCMC


The biodiversity and climate imperative to protect primary forests implications for forest policy

By the FAO’s estimate, we lost tropical forests at 15 million hectares per year between 1990-2000 and 13 million hectares per year between 2000-2010 (these are underestimates because some countries e.g. Cameroon, DRC, did not report data)


The biodiversity and climate imperative to protect primary forests implications for forest policy

Primary forest protection is a developed & developing country challenge

Source: FOA Global Forest Resource Assessment 2010


The biodiversity and climate imperative to protect primary forests implications for forest policy

Why care about protecting primary forests?

1. Climate change mitigation

  • Avoiding ecosystem emissions complements deep cuts in fossil fuel emissions

  • Globally, forests store ~300 Gt C in living biomass

  • Protecting forests from further degradation deforestation will avoid up to ~136 ppm atmospheric CO2 (+ avoided emissions from dead biomass C +soil C)

  • About 10% of annual global carbon emissions are from deforestation (not including emissions from logging) (Harris et al. 2012)

  • Logging doubles emissions from deforestation (Asner et al. 2010)


The biodiversity and climate imperative to protect primary forests implications for forest policy

Without deep cuts in emissions, we are heading to a very bad place…

+12 by end of 2200

+5 by end of 2100

Representative concentration pathways =RCP 8.5 W m-2

Source: Meinhausen, pers. comm.


The biodiversity and climate imperative to protect primary forests implications for forest policy

The key to solving the climate change problem is to

avoid emissions

from both sources (1) fossil fuel & (2) ecosystems


The biodiversity and climate imperative to protect primary forests implications for forest policy

Why care about protecting primary forests?

2. Biodiversity conservation

“…we find that most forms of forest degradation have an overwhelmingly detrimental effect on tropical biodiversity. Our results clearly indicate that when it comes to maintaining tropical biodiversity, there is no substitute for primary forests.”

Gibson L. et al. (2011) Primary forests are irreplaceable for sustaining tropical biodiversity.

Nature

2/3 of all land based plants and animals are found in forests (CBD)


The biodiversity and climate imperative to protect primary forests implications for forest policy

Why care about protecting primary forests?

3. Climate change adaptation

The natural biodiversity of forests and woodlands (and other ecosystem types) provides them with ecosystem resilience in the face of external perturbations including fire, disease, invasives, and climate change deliveringmore stable carbon stocks

  • Ecosystem resilience capacities:

  • Self-regeneration after disturbance such as fire

  • Resistance to and recovery from pests and diseases

  • Local adaptations to new environmental conditions

  • Tight controls on nutrient cycles in mature ecosystems

Source: IPPC TAR 2007

Thompson I., Mackey B., McNulty S. and Mosseler A. (2009). Forest Resilience, Biodiversity, and Climate Change. A synthesis of the biodiversity/resilience/stability relationship in forest ecosystems. Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity, Montreal. Technical Series no. 43, 67 pages.


The biodiversity and climate imperative to protect primary forests implications for forest policy

Why care about protecting primary forests?

4. Indigenous traditional obligations to country, traditional knowledge & sustainable livelihoods

“For the northern Kaanju people living at Chuulangun on KuukuI’yu (northern Kaanju), Ngaachi Indigenous cosmology ties together land, flora, fauna and people. The landscape was shaped by ancestral beings or ‘Stories’ that left law (governance) and language. ‘Bloodlines’ tie people to different tracts of land – these ties are the foundation of indigenous governance, knowledge, land tenure and land management. This cosmologically-based philosophy drives the Kaanju people in their efforts towards sustainable land management, ecological and socio-cultural restoration, and the reaffirmation of indigenous knowledge across the northern KaanjuNgaachi.“

David Clauide, Traditional Owner, Northern Kaanju people, Cape York Peninsula, Australia

Northern Kaanju people living at Chuulangun on KuukuI’yu, Cape York Peninsula Photo: Courtesy of Dave Claudie, Traditional Owner


The biodiversity and climate imperative to protect primary forests implications for forest policy

Why care about protecting primary forests?

5. Water flow & quality


The biodiversity and climate imperative to protect primary forests implications for forest policy

Solutions lie in using emerging opportunities to reduce pressured & build a conservation economy…


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