Monday, June 15, 2009
PROTECTING OUR FORESTS ....
Here's something interesting everyone should know about. Our world's eco-systems play an essential part in mitigating global warming. Read about it here:
Ecosystems are nature's ways of absorbing carbon dioxide and can play an important part in mitigating climate change, according to a report released last Friday by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP titled, The Natural Fix: The Role of Ecosystems in Climate Mitigation. The report identifies three ecosystems are priorities: tropical forests, peatlands, and agriculture.
Much of peatland degradation could be avoided through restoration, and agriculture could be "carbon neutral" by 2030, the report states. The report also recommends a 50 percent reduction rate in deforestation by 2050, and maintaining it until 2100, which equals 12 percent of the greenhouse gas emissions reductions needed to keep atmospheric concentrations of carbon below 450 parts per minute (ppm).
"We need to move toward a comprehensive policy framework for addressing ecosystems," said co-author Barney Dickson.
Achim Steiner, UN Under-Secretary-General and UNEP Executive Director,pointed out that billions of dollars "are being earmarked for carbon capture and storage at power stations with the CO2 to be buried underground or under the sea." Steiner added, "By some estimates the Earth's living systems might be capable of sequestering more than 50 gigatones (Gt) of carbon over the coming decades with the right market signals."
Activist groups issued consensus statement aboutde forestation
Activist groups issued a consensus statement about halting deforestation on June 9 at climate talks in Bonn, Germany. The consensus called for measures to be included in the Copenhagen protocol "to reduce consumption of forest products." The Copenhagen protocol should also exclude "any form of carbon offsetting," the statement said.
Monoculture tree plantations should not be established and managed, according to the consensus statement, “including genetically modified tree plantations, and the practice of industrial logging from these policies.”
The consensus statement called for developed countries to make “immediate and drastic cuts in their domestic greenhouse gas emissions." The statement specifically called for a 45 percent reduction by 2020, and a 95 percent reduction by 2050.
FOREST DEGRADATION MUST END!!
"The magnitude of emissions from forest degradation represents at least 30 percent of total emissions from the forest sector," according to a recent report by the Nature Conservancy. Reduced impact logging (RIL) would help reduce GHG emissions from degradation. Studies indicate that RIL methods may reduce carbon emissions per unit of wood extracted by 30 to 50 percent.
The report lists two other ways to reduce emissions from degradation:
Forest certification—Certification from groups like Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) help reduce carbon emissions
Integrated Fire Management (IFM)—Evaluates and balances the risks of fire with the “beneficial or necessary ecological”
"My major concern is that until we talk about these issues in a meaningful way, we aren't talking about a real solution," Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) Forest Campaigns Director Andrea Johnson said.
(Source: Gina Marie Cheeseman / Care2)