Sustaining aboriginal forests has become a critical cog in the effort to fight climate change. These old growth forests are the great repositories of biodiversity for the planet, as well as forming the largest carbon sinks in the world. Human beings cut down more than 15 billion trees each year, equaling 10 to 15 percent of the world’s total carbon emissions. There are, however, a number of promising strategies to combat deforestation including enforcement of existing anti-logging laws, eco-certification, and remuneration from rich to poor countries for maintaining the forest canopy. Project Drawdown lists forest protection as the 38th best solution to combat climate change and will result in more biodiversity, promote pollination, enhance ecotourism, and provide additional ecosystem services.
This collection contains stories (see below) which articulate a number of forest management solutions. In Oregon, prescribed burns are returning the forest to a natural and healthy state. Across the West, natural burn patterns are being encouraged as a cost-saving measure, and the Forest Service is compiling a DNA database for trees that will allow tracking of illegal logging. And in the tropics, researchers are using bio-acoustic monitoring to track how the forest evolves against the pressures of logging and burning.
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Fondriest Environmental, David De Wit / Community Eye Health, Linda Steil / Herald Post, John Amis / UGA College of Ag & Environmental Sciences – OCCS, Andy B, Peter Garnhum, Thomas Hawk, 7ty9, Isriya Paireepairit, David Berger, UnLtd The Foundation For Social Entrepreneurs, Michael Dunne, Burak Kebapci, and Forrest Berkshire / U.S. Army Cadet Command public affairs
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