Why the World Needs Less Deforestation

During the climate talks in Bonn, Germany on June 9, activists issued a consensus statement about halting deforestation and industrial logging. The statement called for the "“effective adoption and implementation...of the Rights to Free Prior and Informed Consent of Indigenous Peoples and local forest dependent communities.

The statement also called for the following:

  • Monoculture tree plantations should not be established and managed, “including genetically modified tree plantations, and the practice of industrial logging from these policies.”
  • The Copenhagen protocol should include “measures to reduce consumption of forest products, especially in the Industrialized North.”
  • Developed countries must make “immediate and drastic cuts in their domestic greenhouse gas emissions.” The statement called for a 45 percent reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2020, and a 95 percent reduction by 2050.
  • Developed countries must provide “sufficient financial and technological support to enable developing countries to halt the destruction of forests and other ecosystems.”
  • The Copenhagen protocol should exclude “any form of carbon offsetting, including CDM afforestation/reforestation and REDD offset projects.

”The Nature Conservancy released a report titled Don’t Forget the Second ‘D’ about the impact of forest degredation. According to the report, GHG emissions from forest degredation are at least 30 percent of all emissions from the forest sector.

The report listed strategies for reducing GHG emissions from forest degredation:

  • Reduced impact logging—Techniques such as directional felling and cutting of vines from trees…studies indicate that RIL methods may reduce carbon emissions per unit of wood extracted by 30 to 50 percent
  • 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”

A report by Global Witness looked at the impact of deforestation on the environment. Old growth primary forests continue to "grow and sequester carbon from the atmosphere," the report stated, and are not carbon neutral. It can takes centuries for replanted forests to regain their previous carbon levels.

"My major concern is that until we talk about these demand issues in a meaningful way, we aren't talking about a real solution," Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) Forest Campaigns Director Andrea Johnson said.

See other articles about deforestations:

UNEP Calls for Ecosystems Management


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