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kassy

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Re: Forests: An Endangered Resource
« Reply #250 on: November 14, 2020, 06:39:10 PM »
Scientists discover what types of forests store CO2 best

Forests help mitigate carbon dioxide emissions by capturing it. To make the most of this natural phenomenon, an international team of scientists led by the University of Geneva (UNIGE) has defined which types of forests can store the most carbon and under what conditions.

...

Two opposing hypotheses are at the basis of their work.

A first hypothesis suggests that species diversity would allow for denser stacking and niche compartmentalisation that would favour the abundance of trees within a forest. This abundance would increase the forest’s carbon storage capacity.

According to the other hypothesis, it is not diversity that allows tree abundance but the availability of energy substrate. Areas with higher energy content allow more trees to thrive per unit area and thus increase carbon recapture.

In order to determine which hypothesis is most likely, the researchers used inventory data from forests on five continents. Their conclusion is clear: species diversity is optimal for equatorial and tropical rainforests, but in forests in cold or dry regions it is the abundance of trees rather than their diversity that favours CO2 recapture.

...

https://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/scientists-discover-what-types-of-forests-store-co2-best/46161820
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kassy

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Re: Forests: An Endangered Resource
« Reply #251 on: November 17, 2020, 12:03:51 PM »
B.C. just cut back logging limits on Haida Gwaii. But is it enough to protect these ancient, carbon-rich forests?

B.C.’s chief forester has cut back logging limits on Haida Gwaii, protecting goshawk nesting habitat and cedar for Indigenous cultural use, but critics are calling for a moratorium on harvesting some of the world’s most carbon-rich forests.

The archipelago of more than 150 islands off B.C.’s northwest coast is home to ancient cedar, spruce and hemlock forests and many plants and animals not found anywhere else. Its incredible biodiversity has earned it the moniker “the Galapagos of the North.”

Decades of intensive logging on the archipelago decimated those forests and led to conflicts that ultimately resulted in the 1988 establishment of Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve and Haida Heritage Site, a protected area of nearly 1,500 square kilometres. But beyond the boundaries of the conservation area and other protected areas on the islands, clearcut logging continues.

Lisa White-Kuuyang, a Haida weaver from Old Masset and long-time advocate for protecting old-growth forests on the islands, said continuing to clear cut Haida Gwaii forests threatens Haida culture and the sustainability of the archipelago’s unique ecosystem.

“The disrespectful devastation to the land is not acceptable,” she told The Narwhal.

Suzanne Simard, a forest ecologist and professor at the University of British Columbia, agreed.

“These super-rich carbon areas from Northern California to Alaska should be just de facto preserved if we have any hope at all of trying to meet our global carbon targets,” she said. “As soon as we start cutting these forests, it’s like we’re just blowing a big hole into our ability to meet any of that.”

Last month’s decision by B.C.’s chief forester set the total annual allowable cut for the three main commercial logging areas on Haida Gwaii at 776,000 cubic metres, enough to fill 20,000 logging trucks. Those trees will come from 15 per cent of the archipelago and most of them will come from old-growth forests. The majority of the trees cut on Haida Gwaii are shipped by barge to mills on the Lower Mainland or directly overseas.

and more on:
https://thenarwhal.ca/haida-gwaii-bc-logging-limits-2020/
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gerontocrat

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Re: Forests: An Endangered Resource
« Reply #252 on: November 17, 2020, 11:02:12 PM »
Indonesia has not treated the Melanesians of Papua well. The forest destruction is but one example.

And even the Forestry Stewardhip Commission (FSC)  is a bad joke. My brother, a good few years back, was in the Philippines having set up a Forestry NGO there (occasionally a dangerous occupation). He always reckoned that the FSC existed mainly to provide cover to the bad guys.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-54798452
The burning scar: Inside the destruction of Asia’s last rainforests

A Korean palm oil giant has been buying up swathes of Asia's largest remaining rainforests. A visual investigation published today suggests fires have been deliberately set on the land.
Quote
The rich forests in the remote province of Papua had until recently escaped relatively untouched, but the government is now rapidly opening the area to investors, vowing to bring prosperity to one of the poorest regions in the country. Korindo controls more land in Papua than any other conglomerate. The company has cleared nearly 60,000 hectares of forests inside its government-granted concessions - an area the size of Chicago or Seoul - and the company's vast plantation there is protected by state security forces.



Quote
Many of the tribal allegations against Korindo were investigated for two years by the Forest Stewardship Council. The regulator's tree logo - found on paper products throughout the UK and Europe - is meant to tell consumers the product is sourced from ethnically and sustainable companies. The FSC report into allegations against Korindo was never published, after legal threats from the company, but the BBC obtained a copy.

The report found "evidence beyond reasonable doubt" that Korindo's palm oil operation destroyed 30,000 hectares of high conservation forest in breach of FSC regulations; that Korindo was, "on the balance of probability … supporting the violation of traditional and human rights for its own benefit"; and was "directly benefitting from the military presence to gain an unfair economic advantage" by "providing unfair compensation rates to communities".

"There was no doubt that Korindo had been in violation of our rules. That was very clear," Kim Carstensen, the FSC's executive director, told the BBC at the group's headquarters in Germany.

The report recommended unequivocally that Korindo be expelled from the body. But the recommendation was rejected by the FSC board - a move environmental groups say undermined the credibility of the organisation. A letter sent to the FSC board in August, signed by 19 local environmental groups, said the groups could no long rely on the body "to be a useful certification tool to promote forest conservation and respect for community rights and livelihoods".

Mr Carstensen, the executive director, defended the decision to allow Korindo to stay. "These things have happened, right? Is the best thing to do to say they were in breach of our values so we're not going to have anything to do with you anymore?" he said.

"The logic of the board has been, 'We want to see the improvements happen'."
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Tom_Mazanec

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Re: Forests: An Endangered Resource
« Reply #253 on: December 09, 2020, 03:08:40 PM »
Protecting forests can prevent future pandemics, and we all have roles to play
https://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/opinion/columnists/iowa-view/2020/12/08/pandemic-prevention-must-include-protections-forests-all-can-help/6479129002/
Quote
Our use of the land has contributed to the pandemic. Better management would take into account the need for maintaining ecosystem biodiversity.
SHARKS (CROSSED OUT) MONGEESE (SIC) WITH FRICKIN LASER BEAMS ATTACHED TO THEIR HEADS

vox_mundi

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Re: Forests: An Endangered Resource
« Reply #254 on: December 18, 2020, 11:12:35 PM »
Some Tropical Forests in Brazil Are Already Releasing More Carbon Than They Absorb
https://earther.gizmodo.com/some-tropical-forests-in-brazil-are-already-releasing-m-1845914059

For years, climate scientists have been sounding the alarm about the increasing likelihood that the Amazon rainforest, now one of the biggest absorbers of carbon in the world, could actually become a source of carbon within just 15 years. New research shows that for some other kinds of tropical forests nearby, that’s already happening.

That’s due in large part to intentional forest burning. In South America, mining, cattle ranching, and soybean farming industries frequently set trees ablaze to make room for their operations, turning forests into open pastures.

That means forests contain less foliage to suck greenhouse gas out of the atmosphere. To make matters worse, when a tree catches fire, it releases all the carbon it sequestered in its lifetime, meaning the forests become a source of planet-warming emissions. And amid the climate crisis, this problem is even more severe, because amid hotter and drier conditions, the forests don’t produce enough humidity to quickly put out the flames, meaning more area burns with less effort.

A new study, published in Science Advances on Friday, aimed to see how South American forests’ carbon intake has changed in recent years. To do so, the authors analyzed greenhouse gas monitoring data from 1987 to 2020 on 32 deciduous, semi-deciduous, and evergreen forests—each of which has seen deforestation—in the lush state of Minas Gerais in southeastern Brazil. Altogether, the area they examined spanned some 81.5 acres (33 hectares).

By plugging this data into statistical models, the authors found that on average, these forests are now sucking up 2.6% less carbon per year than they were 33 years ago. At the same time, the forests’ carbon output from fires increased by 3.4% per year, meaning overall, they’re losing their ability to absorb the gas. These changes were enough to push the forests over the edge from carbon sinks to carbon sources. The authors fear their findings may be able to be extrapolated to tropical forests in the region as a whole.

The data shows that the switch happened in 2013. That year, on average, the examined forests released 0.14 U.S. tons per 2.5 acres (0.13 metric tons of carbon per hectare), or the equivalent output of driving 323 miles in a diesel car.

The authors’ findings are particularly troubling because separate research recently found that the importance of tropical forests’ carbon sequestering is nearly as important as that of the Amazon rainforest.

Vinícius Andrade Maia, et.al, The carbon sink of tropical seasonal forests in southeastern Brazil can be under threat, Science Advances, (2020)
https://advances.sciencemag.org/lookup/doi/10.1126/sciadv.abd4548
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kassy

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Re: Forests: An Endangered Resource
« Reply #255 on: January 06, 2021, 11:04:40 AM »
Quote
Deforestation in Indonesia

From a policy standpoint, 2020 was a disastrous year for Indonesia’s forests. The omnibus bill that passed in October removed several key legal protections for Indonesian forests. The changes look to be a boon to the palm oil and mining industries.

The government also moved forward on two initiatives that could lock in deforestation for decades to come: a “food estate” program and a biofuels mandate, which together could drive the conversion of millions of hectares of forests and peatlands to plantations. Critics say the food estate program risks a return to militarized industrial agriculture and forestry operations at the expense of local communities and the environment, while the biofuels mandate could require establishing new oil palm plantations a fifth the size of Borneo. The biodiesel mandate would create a huge source of demand for palm oil that doesn’t need to meet international standards for avoiding deforestation or human rights abuses, countering corporate zero-deforestation policies and import restrictions imposed by the European Union. Nowhere would the impacts of these programs be greater than in Papua, where vast areas of primary forest are slated to be logged and converted into plantations.

Brazil

Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon topped 11,000 sq km for the 2019/2020 deforestation year, the highest level since 2008. Worse for Brazilian forests, the Bolsonaro Administration laid the groundwork for a long-term increase in deforestation with new infrastructure projects, evisceration of agencies that monitor and manage natural resources, dismantling of environmental laws, and legal and rhetorical attacks on Indigenous communities and civil society.

...

Destabilization of tropical forests

Scientists have been warning for years that the Amazon may be approaching a critical tipping point whereby large parts of the rainforest biome could shift to drier woodland or even savanna due to the combination of climate change, deforestation and forest degradation. In 2020 there were more indications that this transition is already underway, with the region experiencing widespread dry conditions, dry habitat species appearing in normally humid tropical rainforests, and increasing incidence of fire. Drying trends have also been observed in the Congo Basin and parts of Southeast Asia.

As noted above, La Niña is expected to continue into 2021, bringing wetter-than-normal conditions, which mean some of these effects may not be as apparent. But watch for scientists to release more research on how these trends tracked in 2019.

https://www.ecosystemmarketplace.com/articles/what-does-2021-hold-for-tropical-forests/

In the article you will find lots of links. Most things have been covered in this thread but it can function as a summery.
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morganism

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Re: Forests: An Endangered Resource
« Reply #256 on: January 09, 2021, 04:37:13 AM »
Amazon Rainforest Will Collapse by 2064, New Study Predicts

""A forest cannot survive if its canopy needs more than 4 years to recover from a yearly [drought] event," Walker wrote in the report. "Southern Amazonia can expect to reach a tipping point sometime before 2064 at the current rate of dry-season lengthening."
The study's models predict that once deforestation reaches 30-50% in southern Amazonia, rainfall in the west will decrease by up to 40%, cementing the deterioration in that environment from lush, tropical forest to arid, open savanna, Science Alert reported."

https://www.ecowatch.com/amazon-rainforest-collapse-2649776959.html

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/00139157.2021.1842711

kassy

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Re: Forests: An Endangered Resource
« Reply #257 on: January 09, 2021, 05:13:03 PM »
Some people can´t wait for 2064:

2020 another grim year for Brazilian Amazon

Deforestation destroyed the equivalent of more than two football pitches each minute in the Brazilian Amazon in 2020, another devastating year for a resource seen as vital to curbing climate change, according to government data released Friday.

Brazilian space agency INPE identified 8,426 square kilometers (3,253 square miles) of Amazon rainforest lost to deforestation in 2020, using its DETER monitoring program, which analyzes satellite images to track the destruction monthly.

That was the second-most devastating year for Brazil's share of the world's biggest rainforest since the program was launched in 2015.

The amount of forest destroyed was only larger in 2019, when the figure came in at 9,178 square kilometers.

...

The Brazilian space agency also operates another satellite-based monitoring program known as PRODES that analyzes deforestation once a year in greater detail.

That analysis, released in November, was even more alarming: it found deforestation surged 9.5 percent annually in the 12 months to August 2020, destroying 11,088 square kilometers of the Brazilian Amazon—an area larger than Jamaica.

The destruction in Brazil, the world's biggest exporter of beef and soybeans, is being driven largely by farmers, ranchers and land speculators bulldozing trees and burning them to make way for crops and pasture.

That has also fueled a surge in destructive wildfires.

The number of fires in the Brazilian Amazon increased 16 percent last year, to a total of more than 103,000.

Fires also devastated the Pantanal wetlands to the south, a paradise of biodiversity that saw an estimated one-quarter of its surface area go up in flames last year.

https://phys.org/news/2021-01-grim-year-brazilian-amazon.html
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kassy

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Re: Forests: An Endangered Resource
« Reply #258 on: January 19, 2021, 02:24:41 PM »
Indian ´reforestation´.

Tree planting pushes out pastoralists in the Himalayas

Poorly planned tree planting programmes in Himachal Pradesh have squeezed pastoralists and put greater pressure on fragile ecosystems


The paper points out that between 1950 and 2005, India’s government reported afforestation of an area equivalent to 10% of the country’s land area, or just less than half of its total forest cover. Data from the Himachal Pradesh Forest Department indicate a similarly widespread distribution of plantations along the migratory routes of the Gaddis.

What is more, India aims to increase forest cover from the current 21% to 33% under its UN climate commitments, without visible thought given to the impacts on rural livelihoods such as pastoralism.

Responding to this, Rajesh Sharma of the Himachal Pradesh forest department said, “In2015 India pledged in the Paris Agreement to create an additional carbon sink of 2.5 to 3 billion tonnes by increasing its tree cover through afforestation activities on 45 lakh [4.5 million] hectares across the country by 2030. The target was distributed to all the states and union territories as per their geographical area and forest cover. Himachal Pradesh is meeting its target of afforestation on 10,000 hectares land every year successfully.”

....

The effect on Gaddis

Gaddis are an agro-pastoral community, listed as a scheduled tribe by the Government of India, who have herded their sheep and goats around the Dhauladhar range for centuries.

“We found that decades of [growing] plantations have decreased the availability of fodder, contributed to increased incidence of invasive species, disrupted migratory routes and changed access to land,” researchers wrote in the paper.

Gaddis move seasonally to find fodder in the lower and middle altitude of Kangra during the winter and the higher altitudes of Kangra, Chamba, and Lahaul and Spiti valleys in the summer.

As well as forests, Gaddis use high-altitude commons, village commons and private land owned by farmers. The forest department and other government officials issue permits for using high-altitude commons. The permission to graze on village commons is obtained from local government bodies, while access to private lands relies on personal relations with individual farmers.

Livelihood shocks
Plantations have made Gaddi livelihoods more vulnerable because the land is enclosed and their access routes blocked.  The planting of tree species which animals cannot eat means there is less fodder available. New plantations also provide habitats for invasive shrubs, which decrease livestock health and growth.

Viay Ramprasad, senior fellow at the Centre for Ecology, Development and Research at Dehradun and co-author of the report, said, “Plantations change species composition for grazing and affect fodder availability; plantation closures force changes in migratory routes and also alter access dimensions to pasture lands.”

Ratna Devi from Thala village in Kangra described how last year 180 of the 250 goats and sheep of her flock became ill from grazing on an unknown plant in their winter pasture and died at once. She felt badly shaken and helpless. Despite this shock, her family continued herding and invested again in goats and sheep.

Gaddis earn their living by selling milk, meat, and wool. But now they sell young livestock as well.

Musafir Ram, another Gaddi from the area, said, “Young [animals] are more susceptible to harm from ‘outside’ plants so many [people] have resorted to selling almost all young goats and sheep prior to their winter migration.”

The wrong trees

Researchers found that most of the varieties of trees planted by the forest department in the last 40 years have been unpalatable to livestock. Until the 1990s, government plantations replaced broad-leaved tree species (such as Ban oak or Acacia catechu) and pastures with pine species, which produce commercially viable resin and timer but are unpalatable to animals. More recently there has been a greater emphasis on native broad-leaved species, but shrubs, herbs and native meadows have been ignored.

Govind Jeet, a Gaddi, agreed with one observation in the research paper, “We have noticed that palatable species like grasses such as garna and basoti and plants such as peepal and kangu are now almost absent in winter pastures.”

and much more on:
https://www.thethirdpole.net/2021/01/19/tree-planting-pushes-out-pastoralists-in-the-himalayas/

The paper:
https://www.ecologyandsociety.org/vol25/iss4/art1/
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