Forests are a key part of the climate equation. They capture and store carbon, create rain clouds, shade the land, filter our water, make fresh air and provide critical homes for our wildlife.

Secondary forests offer big opportunity to fight global warming

New research shows that some regenerating forests might have an even higher rate of carbon uptake than previously thought, which can help identify the most important conservation priorities.
Over half of the world’s tropical forests are not old-growth but naturally regenerating forests, and a large part of that is secondary forest. An international team analyzed the recovery of above-ground biomass in 1,500 forest plots at 45 sites across Latin America and found that carbon uptake is surprisingly fast in these young, ...

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The world’s forests will collapse if we don’t learn to say ‘no”

An alarming new study has shown that the world’s forests are not only disappearing rapidly, but that areas of “core forest”, remote interior areas critical for disturbance-sensitive wildlife and ecological processes, are vanishing even faster.

Core forests are disappearing because a tsunami of new roads, dams, power lines, pipelines and other infrastructure is rapidly slicing into the world’s last wild places, opening them up like a flayed fish to deforestation, fragmentation, poaching and other destructive activities.

Most vulnerable of all are forests ...

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Talks in the city of light generate more heat

Rather than relying on far-off negative-emissions technologies, Paris needed to deliver a low-carbon road map for today, argues Kevin Anderson.

The climate agreement delivered earlier this month in Paris is a genuine triumph of international diplomacy. It is a tribute to how France was able to bring a fractious world together. And it is testament to how assiduous and painstaking science can defeat the unremitting programme of misinformation that is perpetuated by powerful vested interests. It is the twenty-first century’s ...

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Forests gain long-awaited recognition in Paris climate summit

The climate change agreement adopted by 195 countries in Paris last week raised the profile of forests in ways never seen before.

In past multilateral environmental conferences, deforestation proved too thorny for nations to reach agreement. Now, however, some of the most heavily forested countries in the world have pledged to fight deforestation and promote forest conservation.

This is a key shift. Cutting emissions from deforestation by leaving forests standing or promoting reforestation is arguably one of the simplest and most ...

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FORESTS – Post Paris

The vital role of forests as climate moderators was endorsed for the first time in the history of climate negotiations. The Paris Agreement also acknowledged action is needed to move away from fossil fuels.

The Federal Government has just agreed to hand $4.7 million to the logging industry to further its research and development work for new markets. This could see a well-funded push towards burning native forests for ...

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It’s simple, to solve climate change we must save our forests

A few months ago I shared a photo on my Facebook page with a caption that read We cut down 3 billion trees every year–that’s an area the size of New York City every two days. This future, I do not accept it.”

Immediately, a friend replied “But don’t forget! The U.S. plants 4 million trees every single day!”

The response got me thinking… Understandably, people often group planting trees and reducing deforestation in the same category. I get it. Cutting down ...

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Ashes to ashes: logging and fires have left Victoria’s magnificent forests in tatters

In February 2009 the Black Saturday bushfires swept through the Mountain Ash forests of Victoria, burning 72,000 hectares.

These forests are home to the tallest flowering plants on the planet, and iconic species such as the Leadbeater’s Possum, Victoria’s animal emblem. In the six years since the fires, we and other scientists have been investigating how the forests have recovered, summarised in our new book. This research was in turn built on 25 years of research before the fires.

There’s some good ...

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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 ...

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