International Day Of Forests Promotes Conservation

Deforestation Threatens Biodiversity

Today is the International Day of Forests. Deforestation is a major contributor to global warming, wildlife extinction, droughts and other threats to life as we know it.

Forests are the most biologically-diverse ecosystems on land, and home to more than 80 percent of all known terrestrial species of animals and plants. They play a vital role in storing water, regulating climate, preserving soils and nurturing biodiversity, and provide important economic and social services.

On this UN day that is dedicated for forests, CITES highlights its commitment to help countries manage forests more sustainably. Through strictly regulating international trade in certain timber and non-timber forest products to ensure legality, sustainability and traceability, CITES is contributing towards achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including Goal #15 as it relates to the sustainably managed forests and halting biodiversity loss.

deforestation and climate change

Recent years have witnessed a major development in the use of the Convention with Parties deciding to include many commercially valuable trees in the CITES Appendices. While only 18 tree species were listed in the CITES Appendices in 1975 when the Convention came into effect, CoP17 alone (held in Johannesburg, September/October 2017) brought over 300 new timber species, namely all Dalbergia rosewood and palisander species found across the world  under CITES trade controls. Today, more than 900 tree species are protected under CITES, including some of the world’s most economically valuable trees.

Legal international trade in timber is worth hundreds of billions of dollars every year. Thanks to CITES trade regulations, CITES Management Authorities establish the veracity of the legal origins of listed species before they enter international trade, and CITES Scientific Authorities advise on the sustainable nature of the harvest and exports. Customs officials at border crossings of source, transit and destination States across the globe will verify CITES permits for all such international shipments.

deforestation and jaguar conservation

“The decisions taken to bring so many new tree species under the CITES trade control regime reflect the growing confidence that Parties have in CITES in helping them manage these valuable resources more sustainably, and the determination to ensure the legality of such timbers in trade,” said CITES Secretary-General, John E. Scanlon.

CITES works in partnership with other organizations to enhance sustainable forest management and timber trade practices. The successful long-term collaboration between CITES and ITTO, for example, has contributed greatly towards reducing biodiversity loss, fostering sustainable development and helping poverty eradication by enabling biodiversity-rich countries to better manage their natural forest resources.

Beneficiary countries in Africa, Asia and the Americas have been given support to sustainably harvest and trade in CITES listed tree species, which is good for people and wildlife, and contributes to the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal #15:

“Sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, halt and reverse land degradation, halt biodiversity loss.”

palm oil and orangutans

“Through our collective efforts we are ensuring that wild plants, and the animals that depend upon them, will be protected for this generation and the generations to come. Effectively regulating trade in forest products also has great benefits for people by ensuring sustainable livelihoods, and protecting social and cultural assets. Wildlife-based industries, including tourism, can bring significant benefits for some national economies and be a major generator of local jobs and foreign exchange” concluded Scanlon.

Deforestation News via https://cites.org/eng/CITES_highlights_its_contribution_to_sustainable_forest_management_on_International_Day_of_Forests_2017_21032017

climate change and deforestation

Sacred Seedlings is a global initiative to support forest conservation, reforestation, urban forestry, sustainable agriculture, carbon capture and wildlife conservation. Sustainable land management and land use are critical to the survival of entire ecosystems. Sacred Seedlings is a U.S.-based program that supports the vision of local stakeholders. We have projects ready across Africa. We seek additional projects elsewhere around the world. We also seek volunteers, sponsors and donors of cash and in-kind support. Write to Gary Chandler for more information gary@crossbow1.com 

Together, we can stop deforestation and preserve biodiversity.

UN Chief Calls For Global Forest Conservation, Restoration

Deforestation Killing More Than Trees

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Saturday called upon all UN member states to make more efforts to invest in and protect the world’s forests. In his message to mark the International Day of Forests. 

“To build a sustainable, climate-resilient future for all, we must invest in our world’s forests,” the secretary general said. “That will take political commitment at the highest levels, smart policies, effective law enforcement, innovative partnerships and funding. On this International Day of Forests, let us commit to reducing deforestation, sustaining healthy forests and creating a climate-resilient future for all.”

deforestation and climate change

The International Day of Forests, observed on March 21, strives to raise awareness of the importance of all types of forests and trees outside. The day of celebration and advocacy was established by resolution of the UN General Assembly on November 28, 2012. Each year, various events celebrate and raise awareness of the importance of all types of forests, and trees outside forests, for the benefit of current and future generations. Countries are encouraged to undertake efforts to organize local, national, and international activities involving forests and trees, such as tree planting campaigns, on the International Day.

Forests have been decimated due to land clearing, cattle grazing, intensive burning for firewood, or to construct streets and homes. Some 13 million hectares of forest – an area the size of Greece or Nicaragua – are cleared annually. Approximately 1.6 billion people — including more than 2,000 indigenous cultures — depend on forests for food, fuel, shelter and income, Ban noted.

In the Amazon rainforest alone, forests the size of seven soccer fields vanish every minute. Brazil has lost 10 percent of its forests – an area the size of France – between 1990 and 2000. Indonesia, with 20 percent of forests lost over the past 20 years, is the only country to surpass Brazil, taking the number-one spot when it comes to forest destruction, there, 24 million hectares of forest have been destroyed, according to the UN. Nigeria is in third place, followed by Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

“Three quarters of freshwater comes from forested catchments. Forests prevent landslides and erosion and — in the case of mangrove forests — reduce loss of life and damage caused by tsunamis,” he said. “For these reasons, and more, forests are integral to our future. Among their most important functions is their role in building climate-resilient societies. That is why, in this year of action for sustainable development, climate change is the theme for the International Day of Forests. Sustaining healthy forests and mitigating and adapting to climate change are two sides of the same coin. Forests are the largest storehouses of carbon after oceans.”

deforestation and global warming

The carbon they store in their biomass, soils and products is equivalent to about 10 percent of carbon emissions projected for the first half of this century, he said. “At the same and land-use changes account for 17 percent of human-generated carbon dioxide emissions.”

“Forests are on the front lines of climate change,” he said. ” These ecosystems, rich with biodiversity, are increasingly vulnerable to changes in weather, temperature and rainfall patterns. It is essential, therefore, that we work to preserve and sustainably manage our forests.”

“Despite the ecological, economic and social value of forests, global deforestation continues at an alarming rate — some 13 million hectares of forest are destroyed annually,” he said. “This is not sustainable for people or the planet.”

On the one hand, deforestation reduces biodiversity. On the other hand, every tree helps to store carbon, and thus work against climate change. Norway’s Environment Minister Trine Sundtoft stresses that Germany’s Bonn Challenge could make a decisive reduction in climate-changing carbon dioxide emissions. The German plan, launched in 2011, calls for 150 million hectares of forest – an area four times larger than Germany – to be reforested by 2020. More than 60 million hectares are currently being reforested.

“We are now at the point where just reducing emissions will not be enough,” she said. “We must actively remove carbon out of the atmosphere – forest restoration is the most cost-effective carbon capture option we have,” she added.

The IUCN estimates that achieving the 150 million hectare reforestation goal by 2020 could not only reduce the current carbon dioxide emissions gap by 11 to 17 percent, but also generate more than $85 billion annually for local and national economies, and $6 billion in additional crop yields.

Forest Conservation News via http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/xinhua-news-agency/150322/un-chief-calls-more-efforts-invest-protect-worlds-forests

climate change and deforestation

Sacred Seedlings is a global initiative to support forest conservation, reforestation, urban forestry, sustainable agriculture and wildlife conservation. Sustainable land management and land use are critical to the survival of entire ecosystems. Sacred Seedlings is a U.S.-based program that supports the vision of local stakeholders. We have projects ready across Africa. We seek additional projects elsewhere around the world. We also seek volunteers, sponsors and donors of cash and in-kind support. Write to Gary Chandler for more information gary@crossbow1.com