by Staff Writers
Paris (AFP) June 7, 2011
All but seven percent of the world's tropical forests are "managed poorly or not at all" despite efforts to boost sustainability, according to a major report released Tuesday.
Forces driving forest destruction across four continents -- including rising food and fuel prices, and growing demand for timber -- threaten to overwhelm future conservation efforts, warned the 420-page study by the Japan-based International Tropical Timber Organisation (ITTO), an intergovernmental agency group that promotes sustainable use of forests.
"Less than 10 percent of all forests are sustainably managed, and we expect deforestation to continue," said Steven Johnson, ITTO's communications director.
"The economic rationale is just so compelling. Revenue streams coming from standing forests just can't compete against conversion to agriculture or biofuel crops, pasture land for livestock, or palm oil plantation," he said by phone.
Tropical forests play an essential role in Earth's carbon cycle, absorbing about a quarter of CO2 emissions generated by human activity.
Deforestation, which releases stored carbon, accounts for 10 to 20 percent of greenhouse-gas emissions globally.
Forests are also a lifeline for nearly a billion people around the world living at or close to subsistence.
The report, "Status of Tropical Forest Management 2011," covers 33 countries and about 90 percent of global trade in tropical timber, and presents itself as the most comprehensive assessment of its kind ever conducted.
So-called "natural permanent tropical forest" currently stand at 761 million hectares (1,880 million acres) worldwide, it estimates, with just over half "production forest," and the rest "protection forest."
The good news is that the area under sustainable management has grown by 50 percent in five years to 53 million hectares (134 million acres), equivalent to the surface of Thailand or Spain.
But these gains must be stacked against the millions of hectares (acres) of tropical forests cleared each year for crops, pastures or development, the report cautioned.
Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.
New report highlights diversity and value of Alaska's coastal forests
Seattle WA (SPX) Jun 07, 2011
A new report published by the USDA Forest Service's Pacific Northwest Research Station presents summaries of current southeast and south-central Alaska forest topics, ranging from carbon and forest products to lichens and invasive species. The report, Forests of Southeast and South-Central Alaska, 2004-2008, highlights key findings from the most recent data collected by the station's PNW F ... read more
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2011 - Space Media Network. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement|