Under What Circumstances Do Wood Products from Native Forests Benefit Climate Change Mitigation?

Climate change mitigation benefits from the land sector are not being fully realised because of uncertainty and controversy about the role of native forest management. The dominant policy view, as stated in the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report, is that sustainable forest harvesting yielding wood products, generates the largest mitigation benefit. We demonstrate that changing native forest management from commercial harvesting to conservation can make an important contribution to mitigation. Conservation of native forests results in an immediate and substantial reduction in net emissions relative to a reference case of commercial harvesting.

Storage of carbon as biomass in the land sector is an important activity for climate change mitigation. Loss of carbon from deforestation and degradation has contributed 35% of the accumulated
anthropogenic carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere [1], and annually is around 10% of global anthropogenic emissions [2]. The global amount of emissions from deforestation and degradation continues to increase, …

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